- Education & Outreach
- Advanced Print and Roll to Roll Manufacturing Facility
- Nanoimprint Lithography & Hybrid Coating R2R Coaters
- Conte Nanotechnology Cleanroom Lab
- Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility
- UMass-Amherst Mass Spectrometry Center
- W.M. Keck Center for Electron Microscopy
- W.M. Keck Nanostructures Laboratory
- Hysitron Triboindenter
- Nanonex Nanoimprinter
Generating Möbius strips of light: Researchers experimentally produce these structures from light polarization
A collaboration of researchers from Canada, Europe and the USA have experimentally produced Möbius strips from the polarization of light, confirming a theoretical prediction that it is possible for li...
New nanostructure improves the sensitivity of infrared spectroscopy.
Organic semiconductor pentacene assumes an unusual crystal structure when grown on carbon sheet.
At the health research facility where it employs more than 100 doctors and scientists, Google is working on a magnetic nanoparticle technology that could change the way we test for cancer (and potenti...
Hiden are exhibiting their latest laboratory gas analysers at Pittcon 2015, 9th - 12th March, New Orleans, LA USA. Visit us on Booth 1127. Hiden will feature their latest QGA systems for direct real t...
Angstron Materials Inc., a heavy weight in the commercial scale production of graphene and graphene oxide materials, will be featured this month in a segment for Discovery Channel's Trending Today. Th...
Asteroid Mining 101: A New Book by World-Renowned Expert Dr. John S. Lewis - Exclusive Sneak-Peek Opportunity for Book Reviewers and Media
Harvesting space resources to accelerate humanity's expansion into the solar system is the focus of Asteroid Mining 101: Wealth for a New Space Economy, a new book written by globally recognized exper...
The Original Frameless Shower Doors Installs DFI's FuseCube to Offer Hydrophobic Protective Coating as a Standard Feature: First DFI FuseCube Installed on the East Coast to Enable Key Differentiator for the Original Frameless Shower Doors
Diamon-Fusion International (DFI) and IGE Glass Technologies along with The Original Frameless Shower Doors announce the first FuseCube to be installed in the eastern US by a shower door manufacturer...
Collaboration in a project to create a catalog of different materials and combining them to obtain a metamaterial (artificial material) with the desired characteristics.
A hot-casting solution-processing technique produces perovskite crystals with millimetre size grain cells.
The National Academy of Engineering report that was just released in 2014 on The Flexible Electronics Opportunity (http://www.nap.edu/catalog/18812/the-flexible-electronics-opportunity) has re-established interest in this growing area which includes strategic opportunities for several future technology platforms, including the Internet of Things, and wearable sensors and systems. The key recommendations are well aligned with strategies, goals and public-private partnerships that have been developing over the past decade. Key recommendations from the report are consistent with the challenges and opportunities that the relevant committees have determined, with the committee recommending the following: The United States should increase funding of basic research related to flexible electronics and augment support for university-based consortia to develop prototypes, manufacturing processes, and products in close collaboration with contributing industrial partners. Consortia, bringing together industry, universities, and various levels of government, should be used as a means of fostering precompetitive applied research in flexible electronics. The United States should establish and support a network of user facilities dedicated to flexible electronics. Where possible, federal efforts to support the growth of competitive flexible electronics industries should leverage state and regional developmental efforts, with the objective of establishing co-located local supply chains and capturing the associated cluster synergies.Agency mission needs should help drive demand for flexible electronics technologies, while lowering costs, improving capabilities, and contributing to the development of a skilled workforce. These recommendations build upon the developments by numerous institutions in establishing industry consortia user facilities to transition the innovations in materials, processes, and integration to industrially meaningful platforms. As such, innovations in nanomaterials and nanomanufacturing processes emerging from NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers (NSECS) and Nanosystems Engineering Research Centers (NERCs) will play a pivotal role in the innovation cycle to accelerate developments in flexible-hybrid electronics technologies and manufacturing platforms. Complimenting this are the manufacturing demonstration facilities that have been established at various universities as industry user facilities to take advantage of these emerging processes and cutting edge tools that are unavailable elsewhere. Examples include the Center for Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing (CAMM) at Binghamton University, the Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University, and the Center for Advanced Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The examples of academic driven public-private partnerships provide leading edge capabilities accessible to industry for acceleration of innovative product development.
Plasmonic ring cavities could be good alternatives to the widely used “dimer” or “bowtie” nanoantenna structures as possible light emitting sources in all-optical chip circuits.
New battery technology from the University of Michigan should be able to prevent the kind of fires that grounded Boeing 787 Dreamliners in 2013. The innovation is an advanced barrier between the electrodes in a lithium-ion battery. Made with nanofibers extracted from Kevlar, the tough material in bulletproof vests, the barrier stifles the growth of metal tendrils that can become unwanted pathways for electrical current. A U-M team of researchers also founded Ann Arbor-based Elegus Technologies to bring this research from the lab to market. Mass production is expected to begin in the fourth quarter 2016. "Unlike other ultra strong materials such as carbon nanotubes, Kevlar is an insulator," said Nicholas Kotov, the Joseph B. and Florence V. Cejka Professor of Engineering. "This property is perfect for separators that need to prevent shorting between two electrodes."Lithium-ion batteries work by shuttling lithium ions from one electrode to the other. This creates a charge imbalance, and since electrons can't go through the membrane between the electrodes, they go through a circuit instead and do something useful on the way. But if the holes in the membrane are too big, the lithium atoms can build themselves into fern-like structures, called dendrites, which eventually poke through the membrane. If they reach the other electrode, the electrons have a path within the battery, shorting out the circuit. This is how the battery fires on the Boeing 787 are thought to have started. "The fern shape is particularly difficult to stop because of its nanoscale tip," said Siu On Tung, a graduate student in Kotov's lab, as well as chief technology officer at Elegus. "It was very important that the fibers formed smaller pores than the tip size." While the widths of pores in other membranes are a few hundred nanometers, or a few hundred-thousandths of a centimeter, the pores in the membrane developed at U-M are 15-to-20 nanometers across. They are large enough to let individual lithium ions pass, but small enough to block the 20-to-50-nanometer tips of the fern-structures. The researchers made the membrane by layering the fibers on top of each other in thin sheets. This method keeps the chain-like molecules in the plastic stretched out, which is important for good lithium-ion conductivity between the electrodes, Tung said. "The special feature of this material is we can make it very thin, so we can get more energy into the same battery cell size, or we can shrink the cell size," said Dan VanderLey, an engineer who helped found Elegus through U-M's Master of Entrepreneurship program. "We've seen a lot of interest from people looking to make thinner products." Thirty companies have requested samples of the material. Kevlar's heat resistance could also lead to safer batteries as the membrane stands a better chance of surviving a fire than most membranes currently in use. While the team is satisfied with the membrane's ability to block the lithium dendrites, they are currently looking for ways to improve the flow of loose lithium ions so that batteries can charge and release their energy more quickly. The study, "A dendrite-suppressing solid ion conductor from aramid nanofibers," (http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/150127/ncomms7152/full/ncomms7152.html) appeared online Jan. 27 in Nature Communications. Source: University of Michigan (http://ns.umich.edu/new/multimedia/slideshows/22645-bulletproof-battery-kevlar-membrane-for-safer-thinner-lithium-rechargeables)
The coming age of wearable, highly flexible and transparent electronic devices will rely on essentially invisible electronic and optoelectronic circuits. In order to have close to invisible circuitry, one must have optically transparent thin-film transistors (TFTs). In order to have flexibility, one needs bendable substrates. Both flexible electronics and transparent electronics have been demonstrated before, but never rollable electronics that are also fully transparent at the same time. This has now been achieved by a team of researchers in Korea, who have successfully built rollable and transparent electronic devices that are not only lightweight, but also don't break easily. To manufacture flexible electronics, one needs a starting material the substrate on which to build-up the device. In order for the final product to be flexible, the substrate of course also has to be flexible. In fact, it is the substrate that determines, to a large extent, the overall flexibility of the final product. So if the substrate is flexible to an extent of being rollable which can be achieved making it very thin the final product will also, to some extent, be rollable. Of course, the semiconductors, dielectrics, and metals making up the electronic device, should also be similarly flexible (or soft), otherwise faults will occur. Plastics are the obvious choice for flexible substrates as the substrates are also required to be insulating (nonconductive) in most applications. Other obvious advantages of plastics are that they are lightweight and non-breakable. A team led by Professor Jin Jang, Director of the Department of Information Display (http://display.khu.ac.kr/) at Kyung Hee University, has achieved this by overcoming two major challenges associated with the manufacture of flexible electronics: The temperature restriction of plastic substrates (<100°C) and the difficulty of handling flexible electronics during the fabrication process. They reported their findings in ACS Applied Materials Interfaces ("Fully Transparent and Rollable Electronics" (http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1021/am506937s)). "To overcome the temperature restriction we chose our plastic substrate to be polyimide (PI), which is a polymer of imide monomers," Jang explains to Nanowerk. "PI has high chemical and heat resistance and when it is colorless, which is the case of this research, it withstands processing temperatures around 300°C." The researchers also chose an amorphous oxide semiconductor amorphous-indium-gallium-zinc-oxide (a-IGZO) which assures good device performance even when sputter-deposited at low temperatures. For consistency, they also chose a zinc-based metal, indium-zinc-oxide (IZO), for the metal electrodes i.e. the gate, source, and drain electrodes of the field-effect transistors making up the electronic devices. "Both the a-IGZO and IZO have large band-gaps, and therefore, are transparent to visible light," says Jang. "As the dielectrics are also transparent and the substrate (PI) is colorless, the final product is see-through with a transmittance of 70% for the full circuit device. The colorless PI (CPI) is 15 µm thick and the thickness of the electronic devices is ∼1 µm, resulting in a total thickness of the fabricated thin-film transistor of only ∼16 µm. Hence, the electronic devices are rollable." In order to deal with the second major challenge the difficulty of handling flexible electronics during the fabrication process the researchers used a carrier glass substrate on which the CPI is first spin-coated from solution, and then detached from after device fabrication. Being around 0.7 mm in thickness, the carrier glass is rigid enough to provide mechanical support for the CPI, without which accurate layer registration is impossible during photolithography. This is because standalone plastics substrates can warp, shrink, or bulge at high temperatures. "A rigid carrier substrate is, therefore, a necessity when vacuum processes and photolithography are involved," Jang notes. "However, the way the flexible substrate is attached to the rigid carrier substrate is important as it has to be detached from the carrier substrate after device fabrication. The use of adhesive materials/glues to attach flexible substrates to carrier substrates is not recommended as most adhesives cannot withstand high processing temperatures." An alternative method is to spin-coat the flexible substrate from solution onto the carrier substrate. Although this method avoids the use of adhesive materials, it is very difficult to detach the flexible substrate from the carrier substrate afterwards because bonds between the two have a tendency of strengthening during the fabrication process. "The current solution is to deposit a thin layer such as amorphous-silicon between the flexible substrate and the carrier substrate, which can be evaporated by a laser to release the flexible substrate from the carrier substrate after device fabrication," says Jang. "Given the high cost of installing laser equipment, the complexity of the laser detachment process, and the limitations of the laser beam size, we felt their was a need for a better method." In their research, Jang's team do not use adhesive material or lasers. Neither do they deposit a layer of amorphous-silicon between the carrier glass and the CPI. Instead, they spin coat a mixture of carbon nanotubes (CNT) and graphene oxide (GO) to a thickness of 1 nm from solution onto of the carrier glass before spin coating the CPI. "As the CNT/GO layer has a flake like structure with CNT links, it decreases the area where the CPI contacts the glass, thereby reducing its adhesion to glass," explains Jang. "Inserting the CNT/GO layer also doesn't cost much because only a few drops are required to achieve a thickness around 1 nm." After fabrication, only a small amount of mechanical force is required to detach the CPI from the glass. According to the scientists, the beauty of having the CNT/GO layer is that it bonds stronger with the CPI compared to the glass, such that it remains embedded to the backside of the CPI after detachment providing mechanical support to the flexible electronics and making the rollable electronics wrinkle-free. Electronic devices built on plastic substrates are prone to electrostatic discharge (ESD) damage because plastics are usually associated with the generation of electrostatic charge. By contrast, the CPI in this present work is ESD-free because localized ESD can be released via the conductive CNT. In their experiments, the team rolled the TFT devices 100 times on a cylinder with radius of 4 mm, without significantly degrading their performance. Integrated circuits also operated without degradation, while being bent to a radius of 2 mm, making these devices suitable for transparent and rollable displays. Source: Nanowerk (http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=38815.php)
To stay warm when temperatures drop outside, we heat our indoor spaces even when no one is in them. But scientists have now developed a novel nanowire coating for clothes that can both generate heat and trap the heat from our bodies better than regular clothes. They report on their technology, which could help us reduce our reliance on conventional energy sources, in the ACS journal Nano Letters ("Personal Thermal Management by Metallic Nanowire-Coated Textile" (http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1021/nl5036572)). Yi Cui and colleagues note that nearly half of global energy consumption goes toward heating buildings and homes. But this comfort comes with a considerable environmental cost it's responsible for up to a third of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions. Scientists and policymakers have tried to reduce the impact of indoor heating by improving insulation and construction materials to keep fuel-generated warmth inside. Cui's team wanted to take a different approach and focus on people rather than spaces. The researchers developed lightweight, breathable mesh materials that are flexible enough to coat normal clothes. When compared to regular clothing material, the special nanowire cloth trapped body heat far more effectively. Because the coatings are made out of conductive materials, they can also be actively warmed with an electricity source to further crank up the heat. The researchers calculated that their thermal textiles could save about 1,000 kilowatt hours per person every year that's about how much electricity an average U.S. home consumes in one month. Source: American Chemical Society (http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/presspacs/2015/acs-presspac-january-28-2015/nanowire-clothing-could-keep-people-warm-without-heating-everything-else.html)
Nanoscale Mirrored Cavities Amplify, Connect Quantum Memories: Advance could lead to quantum computing and the secure transfer of information over long-distance fiber optic networks
The idea of computing systems based on controlling atomic spins just got a boost from new research performed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE...
In today's world, in which the threat of terrorism looms, there is an urgent need for fast, reliable tools to detect the release of deadly chemical warfare agents (CWAs). In the journal ACS Macro Lett...
Although terahertz spectroscopy has great potential, especially for environmental monitoring and security screening applications, it previously could not be used effectively to study nanocrystals or m...
Iranian researchers of Tehran University of Medical Sciences studied and produced a Nano drug system at laboratorial scale to achieve edible insulin.
Therapeutic oligonucleotide analogs represent a new and promising family of drugs that act on nucleic acid targets such as RNA or DNA; however, their effectiveness has been limited due to difficulty c...