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Nano News & Events
Scientists develop breakthrough technique to easily optimize electrical properties of Polyaniline nanosheets to an unprecedented level in an environmental-friendly and inexpensive way.
Crowd-sourced computing has helped an international research team – including researchers from the University of Sydney - discover a new method of improving water filtration systems and water...
In a nanoscale world researchers can control cellulose-based materials one atom at a time.
Miniature Technology, Large-Scale Impact: Winner of the 2015 Lindros Award for translational medicine, Kjeld Janssen is pushing the boundaries of the emerging lab-on-a-chip technology - See more at: http://www.news.ucsb.edu/2015/015744/miniature-technolog
The postage stamp-sized square of fused silica Kjeld Janssen is holding may not look like a whole lot to the untrained eye, but inside the clear chip lies the potential to improve how medicine and med...
New material could make it possible to pack more transistors on a chip, research suggests.
Wearable electronic devices for health and fitness monitoring are a rapidly growing area of consumer electronics; one of their biggest limitations is the capacity of their tiny batteries to deliver enough power to transmit data. Now, researchers at MIT and in Canada have found a promising new approach to delivering the short but intense bursts of power needed by such small devices. The key is a new approach to making supercapacitors — devices that can store and release electrical power in such bursts, which are needed for brief transmissions of data from wearable devices such as heart-rate monitors, computers, or smartphones, the researchers say. They may also be useful for other applications where high power is needed in small volumes, such as autonomous microrobots. The new approach uses yarns, made from nanowires of the element niobium, as the electrodes in tiny supercapacitors (which are essentially pairs of electrically conducting fibers with an insulator between). The concept is described in a paper in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces by MIT professor of mechanical engineering Ian W. Hunter, doctoral student Seyed M. Mirvakili, and three others at the University of British Columbia. Nanotechnology researchers have been working to increase the performance of supercapacitors for the past decade. Among nanomaterials, carbon-based nanoparticles — such as carbon nanotubes and graphene — have shown promising results, but they suffer from relatively low electrical conductivity, Mirvakili says. In this new work, he and his colleagues have shown that desirable characteristics for such devices, such as high power density, are not unique to carbon-based nanoparticles, and that niobium nanowire yarn is a promising an alternative. “Imagine you’ve got some kind of wearable health-monitoring system,” Hunter says, “and it needs to broadcast data, for example using Wi-Fi, over a long distance.” At the moment, the coin-sized batteries used in many small electronic devices have very limited ability to deliver a lot of power at once, which is what such data transmissions need. “Long-distance Wi-Fi requires a fair amount of power,” says Hunter, the George N. Hatsopoulos Professor in Thermodynamics in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, “but it may not be needed for very long.” Small batteries are generally poorly suited for such power needs, he adds. “We know it’s a problem experienced by a number of companies in the health-monitoring or exercise-monitoring space. So an alternative is to go to a combination of a battery and a capacitor,” Hunter says: the battery for long-term, low-power functions, and the capacitor for short bursts of high power. Such a combination should be able to either increase the range of the device, or — perhaps more important in the marketplace — to significantly reduce size requirements. The new nanowire-based supercapacitor exceeds the performance of existing batteries, while occupying a very small volume. “If you’ve got an Apple Watch and I shave 30 percent off the mass, you may not even notice,” Hunter says. “But if you reduce the volume by 30 percent, that would be a big deal,” he says: Consumers are very sensitive to the size of wearable devices. The innovation is especially significant for small devices, Hunter says, because other energy-storage technologies — such as fuel cells, batteries, and flywheels — tend to be less efficient, or simply too complex to be practical when reduced to very small sizes. “We are in a sweet spot,” he says, with a technology that can deliver big bursts of power from a very small device. Ideally, Hunter says, it would be desirable to have a high volumetric power density (the amount of power stored in a given volume) and high volumetric energy density (the amount of energy in a given volume). “Nobody’s figured out how to do that,” he says. However, with the new device, “We have fairly high volumetric power density, medium energy density, and a low cost,” a combination that could be well suited for many applications. Niobium is a fairly abundant and widely used material, Mirvakili says, so the whole system should be inexpensive and easy to produce. “The fabrication cost is cheap,” he says. Other groups have made similar supercapacitors using carbon nanotubes or other materials, but the niobium yarns are stronger and 100 times more conductive. Overall, niobium-based supercapacitors can store up to five times as much power in a given volume as carbon nanotube versions. Niobium also has a very high melting point — nearly 2,500 degrees Celsius — so devices made from these nanowires could potentially be suitable for use in high-temperature applications. In addition, the material is highly flexible and could be woven into fabrics, enabling wearable forms; individual niobium nanowires are just 140 nanometers in diameter — 140 billionths of a meter across, or about one-thousandth the width of a human hair. So far, the material has been produced only in lab-scale devices. The next step, already under way, is to figure out how to design a practical, easily manufactured version, the researchers say. “The work is very significant in the development of smart fabrics and future wearable technologies,” says Geoff Spinks, a professor of engineering at the University of Wollongong, in Australia, who was not associated with this research. This paper, he adds, “convincingly demonstrates the impressive performance of niobium-based fiber supercapacitors.” The team also included PhD student Mehr Negar Mirvakili and professors Peter Englezos and John Madden, all from the University of British Columbia.
The goal is to develop solutions to challenging problems in the areas of energy, the environment, security and defense, as well as for developing ways to monitor and mitigate human stress.
Nature.comPerovskite photovoltaics: Signs of stabilityNature.comThe results of Li et al. are thus an important step underlining the commercialization potential of organic–inorganic perovskite solar cells. The results on stability are encouraging. They, of course, do not solve other issues that will require ...and more »
Imec and its partners announced today that they have successfully completed a three-year program to leverage a variety of silicon photonics technologies by making them accessible for industry and academia worldwide.
Dr Rahul Raveendran-Nair is the recipient of the 2015 Moseley medal and prize from the Institute of Physics for his outstanding contributions to our understanding of the electrical, optical and structural properties of graphene and its sister compounds.
Engineers at Oregon State University have invented a way to fabricate silver, a highly conductive metal, for printed electronics that are produced at room temperature.
Nanoparticle catalysts: Protected with grapheneNature.comHowever, the cells typically rely on catalysts made of expensive noble metals such as platinum, which limits their widespread commercialization. This has led to an extensive search for cheaper materials, but an alternative approach is to try to improve ...
Using molds to shape things is as old as humanity. In the Bronze Age, the copper-tin alloy was melted and cast into weapons in ceramic molds. Today, injection and extrusion molding shape hot liquids into everything from car parts to toys.
High-performance solar-blind ultraviolet photodetector based on electrospun TiO 2 -ZnTiO 3 heterojunction nanowires
Abstract High-performance solar-blind UV (ultraviolet) photodetectors (PDs) based on low-dimension semiconducting nanostructures with high sensitivity, excellent cycle stability, and the ability to operate in harsh environments are critical for solar observations, space communication, UV astronomy, and missile tracking. In this study, TiO2-ZnTiO3 heterojunction nanowire-based PDs are successfully developed and used to detect solar-blind UV light. A photoconductive analysis indicates that the fabricated PDs are sensitive to UV illumination, with high sensitivity, good stability, and high reproducibility. Further analysis indicates that the rich existence of grain boundaries within the TiO2-ZnTiO3 nanowire can greatly decrease the dark current and recombination of the electron-hole pairs and thereby significantly increase the device’s photosensitivity, spectra responsivity (1.1 × 106), and external quantum efficiency (4.3 × 108 %). Moreover, the PDs exhibit good photodetective performance with fast photoresponse and recovery and excellent thermal stability at temperatures as high as 175 °C. According to these results, TiO2-ZnTiO3 heterojunction nanowires exhibit great potential for applications in high-performance optical electronics and PDs, particularly next-generation photodetectors with the ability to operate in harsh environments.
There was a time during the early development of portable electronics when the biggest hurdle to overcome was making the device small enough to be considered portable. After the invention of the...
Leti Announces Launch of First European Nanomedicine Characterisation Laboratory: Project Combines Expertise of 9 Partners in 8 Countries to Foster Nanomedicine Innovation and Facilitate Regulatory Approval
CEA-Leti today announced the launch of the European Nano-Characterisation Laboratory (EU-NCL) funded by the European Unions Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Its main objective is to...
US EPA has proposed a new rule requiring reporting and recordkeeping for certain manufactured and processed nanomaterials under Section 8(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). EPAs propose...
The days of wasting condiments - and other products - that stick stubbornly to the sides of their bottles may be gone, thanks to MIT spinout LiquiGlide, which has licensed its nonstick coating to a major consumer-goods company.
Researchers have demonstrated the fabrication flexible ferroelectric random access memory (FeRAM) devices using state-of-the-art CMOS processes (sputtering, photolithography, and reactive ion etching). This bridges the existing gap between rigid inflexible semiconductor high performance, integration density, yield, and reliable electronics and highly flexible polymer/hybrid materials based relatively low performance electronics. This enables combining the best of two worlds to obtain flexible high performance electronics.
As engineered nanomaterials increasingly find their way into commercial products, researchers who study the potential environmental or health impacts of those materials face a growing challenge to...