- 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
Exploiting graphene's exceptional electronic, mechanical, and thermal properties for practical devices requires fabrication techniques that allow the direct manipulation of graphene on micro- and macroscopic scales. Finding the ideal technique to achieve the desired graphene patterning remains a major challenge. One manufacturing route that researchers have been exploring with increased intensity is inkjet printing where liquid-phase graphene dispersions are used to print conductive thin films. Inkjet printing, however, doesn't help much when trying to build three-dimensional (3D) graphene structures. This is where 3D-printing comes in. Applying 3D printing concepts to nanotechnology could bring similar advantages to nanofabrication speed, less waste, economic viability than it is expected to bring to manufacturing technologies. These 3D printing techniques are reaching a stage where desired products and structures can be made independent of the complexity of their shapes even bioprinting tissue and entire organs is now in the realm of the possible. "From a 3D printing perspective, graphene has been previously incorporated into 3D printed materials, but most of these constructs comprise no greater than about 20 volume % of the total solid of the composite, resulting in electrical properties that are significantly less than what we describe in our recent work," says Ramille N. Shah (http://shahlab.northwestern.edu/), Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering and Assistant Professor, Surgery (Transplant Division), Simpson Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology at Northwestern University. In new work, Shah and her team, who worked with Mark Hersam's group (http://www.hersam-group.northwestern.edu/) at Northwestern, show that high volume fraction graphene composite constructs can be formed from an easily extrudable liquid ink into multi-centimeter scaled objects. The results have been published in a paper in the April 10, 2015 online edition of ACS Nano ("Three-Dimensional Printing of High-Content Graphene Scaffolds for Electronic and Biomedical Applications" (http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1021/acsnano.5b01179)). The researchers developed a solution-based, scalable graphene ink (3DG) that can be 3D-printed under ambient conditions via simple extrusion into arbitrarily shaped, electrically conductive, mechanically resilient, and biocompatible scaffolds with filaments ranging in diameter from 100 to 1000 µm. Despite being comprised primarily of graphene (60 vol % of solid), which is stiff and brittle, the resulting material is very flexible and can be easily printed into small or large scale (multiple centimeters) objects. "Our resulting 3D printed constructs contains majority graphene while maintaining structural integrity and handability, which is enabled by the particular biocompatible elastomer binder PLG that we chose in combination with the solvent system," explains Shah. She notes that a significant motivating factor behind this work was the need for more innovative biomaterials for nervous tissue regeneration, and also biomaterials that are translatable i.e. scalable and not so expensive to produce. Theses novel 3D printable graphene inks are relatively easy to produce in a scalable fashion, can be rapidly fabricated into an infinite variety of forms (including patient specific implants), and are also surgically friendly (can be trimmed to size and sutured to surrounding tissue). It was known previously that graphene and conductive materials could influence cell behavior, particularly those related to neurogenic stem cell lines. Many previous studies, however, used neural stem cells, which are already predisposed to become neuron-like cells but are difficult to translate clinically. A highly interesting result for stem cell researchers is the demonstration of neurogenic differentiation of adult mesenchymal stem cells without added biological factors such as nerve growth factor or electrical stimulation (unlike neural stem cells, adult mesenchymal stem cells are a more translatable cell source since they can be easily obtained from patients). "In our experiments, we have shown the ability of 3DG scaffolds to induce neurogenic differentiation of adult mesenchymal stem cells without the need for any other neurogenic growth factors or external stimuli," Shah points out. "This is a major finding that supports the use of materials themselves for inducing specific cellular responses that can be leveraged for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications." The researchers' results suggest that the unique physical, electrical, and biological properties of 3DG could open the door to addressing a variety of medical problems requiring the regeneration of damaged, degenerated, or otherwise non-functional electrogenic tissues such as nerves, bone, or skeletal and cardiac muscle. Beyond regenerative medicine applications, there are a number of other potential medical applications including using 3DG in implantable biosensors and/or electrical devices. Outside of medicine, there is potential for 3DG to be used for biodegradable electronics or sensors in consumer products. This work is an excellent example of how 3D printing can aid in developing entirely new kinds of functional material systems, with unique, and highly advantageous properties, such as those exhibited by 3DG. Particular challenges to realize this include the creation of 3D printable functional material inks that are also scalable and translatable. Another challenge is the ability to 3D print multiple types of materials to create functioning devices. Last but not least, innovations in 3D printers themselves are still needed to be able to easily scale and multi-material print at a commercial manufacturing level. Source: Nanowerk (http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=39905.php)
The U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced today that they will establish a consortium to provide private‐sector input on national advanced manufacturing research and development priorities. NSF has released a solicitation (http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=505203), calling for applications from organizations to administer the consortium through a cooperative agreement. The consortium is being established in response to one of the primary recommendations published in Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office (http://manufacturing.gov/about_adv_mfg.html) and the Advanced Manufacturing Subcommittee of the President's National Science and Technology Council. The solicitation (http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=505203) issued today by NSF explains that the agencies will provide funding of up to $6 million total (up to $2 million per year for up to three years), with no cost share required. Applications are due July 20, 2015. NSF will have primary administrative responsibility for the consortium. NIST will have responsibility for consortium-organized conferences and outreach activities. NSF and NIST also are collaborating with NASA and the departments of Defense, Education and Energy to build the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (http://manufacturing.gov/nnmi.html), a network of research and development centers aimed at scaling up cutting-edge manufacturing technologies to enable the rapid commercialization of made-in-America products. The Obama Administration has made investing in cutting-edge manufacturing technologies a priority, increasing federal manufacturing research and development investment by a third to nearly $2 billion annually. U.S. leadership in transformative emerging manufacturing technologies anchors U.S. competitiveness for advanced manufacturing jobs and investment. The new consortium will play an important role in informing these critical investments in the future of U.S. advanced manufacturing. As a non-regulatory agency of the Commerce Department, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. To learn more about NIST, visit www.nist.gov (http://www.nist.gov/). Source: NIST (http://www.nist.gov/director/2015422nistnsf.cfm)
Tiny device could be incorporated into smart packaging to improve food safety. MIT chemists have devised an inexpensive, portable sensor that can detect gases emitted by rotting meat, allowing consumers to determine whether the meat in their grocery store or refrigerator is safe to eat. The sensor, which consists of chemically modified carbon nanotubes, could be deployed in smart packaging that would offer much more accurate safety information than the expiration date on the package, says Timothy Swager, the John D. MacArthur Professor of Chemistry at MIT. It could also cut down on food waste, he adds. People are constantly throwing things out that probably arent bad, says Swager, who is the senior author of a paper describing the new sensor this week in the journal Angewandte Chemie. The papers lead author is graduate student Sophie Liu. Other authors are former lab technician Alexander Petty and postdoc Graham Sazama. The sensor is similar to other carbon nanotube devices that Swagers lab has developed in recent years, including one that detects the ripeness of fruit (http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2012/fruit-spoilage-sensor-0430). All of these devices work on the same principle: Carbon nanotubes can be chemically modified so that their ability to carry an electric current changes in the presence of a particular gas. In this case, the researchers modified the carbon nanotubes with metal-containing compounds called metalloporphyrins, which contain a central metal atom bound to several nitrogen-containing rings. Hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood, is a metalloporphyrin with iron as the central atom. For this sensor, the researchers used a metalloporphyrin with cobalt at its center. Metalloporphyrins are very good at binding to nitrogen-containing compounds called amines. Of particular interest to the researchers were the so-called biogenic amines, such as putrescine and cadaverine, which are produced by decaying meat. When the cobalt-containing porphyrin binds to any of these amines, it increases the electrical resistance of the carbon nanotube, which can be easily measured. We use these porphyrins to fabricate a very simple device where we apply a potential across the device and then monitor the current. When the device encounters amines, which are markers of decaying meat, the current of the device will become lower, Liu says. In this study, the researchers tested the sensor on four types of meat: pork, chicken, cod, and salmon. They found that when refrigerated, all four types stayed fresh over four days. Left unrefrigerated, the samples all decayed, but at varying rates. There are other sensors that can detect the signs of decaying meat, but they are usually large and expensive instruments that require expertise to operate. The advantage we have is these are the cheapest, smallest, easiest-to-manufacture sensors, Swager says. There are several potential advantages in having an inexpensive sensor for measuring, in real time, the freshness of meat and fish products, including preventing foodborne illness, increasing overall customer satisfaction, and reducing food waste at grocery stores and in consumers homes, says Roberto Forloni, a senior science fellow at Sealed Air, a major supplier of food packaging, who was not part of the research team. The new device also requires very little power and could be incorporated into a wireless platform Swagers lab recently developed (http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/wireless-chemical-sensor-for-smartphone-1208) that allows a regular smartphone to read output from carbon nanotube sensors such as this one. The researchers have filed for a patent on the technology and hope to license it for commercial development. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Army Research Office through MITs Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies. Source: MIT News (http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/sensor-detects-spoiled-meat-0415)
(with video) By merging top-down and bottom-up fabrication techniques, researchers readily produce nanowire networks with behaviour analogous to adaptability and memory.
Unlike scaffold-based methods to engineer human tissues for regenerative medicine applications, an innovative synthetic material with the ability to self-assemble into nanostructures to support tissue...
International research team discovers new mechanism behind malaria progression: Findings provide a new avenue for research in malaria treatment
A team of researchers from four universities has pinpointed one of the mechanisms responsible for the progression of malaria, providing a new target for possible treatments.
Add water to a half-filled cup and the water level rises. This everyday experience reflects a positive material property of the water-cup system. But what if adding more water lowers the water level b...
In 2013 James Hone, Wang Fong-Jen Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Columbia Engineering, and colleagues at Columbia demonstrated that they could dramatically improve the performance of graphene-...
A microscopic tool, more than 1000 times thinner than the width of a single human hair, uses vibrations to simultaneously reveal the mass and the shape of a single molecule - a feat which has not been...
The 16th Trends in Nanotechnology International Conference (TNT 2015) unveils 25 Keynote Speakers: Call for abstracts open
Toulouse (France) will host the 16th edition of the Trends in Nanotechnology International Conference (TNT 2015) from the 07th until the 11th of September 2015. This high-level scientific meeting aims...
On April 9th, Graphenea celebrated its fifth anniversary. Graphenea has gone a long way from its startup phase as a small graphene manufacturer. The company now serves customers in more than 50 countr...
Iranian researchers proposed a simple and cheap method to produce hydroxyapatite nanoparticles and improve its mechanical properties.
Academic researchers in Iran carried out computational studies and modeling of a sensor to detect formaldehyde gas.
Iranian researchers used cacao seed extract to produce catalytic nanoparticles which can be applied in production of organic materials and compounds as non-homogenous, stable and recyclable catalysts.
September 7, 2015 - The 16th edition of Trends in Nanotechnology International Conference (TNT2015) is being launched following the overwhelming success of earlier Nanotechnology Conferences. The TNT2015 edition will take place in Toulouse (France). This high-level scientific meeting series aims to present a broad range of current research in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology as well as related policies (European Commission, etc.) or other kind of initiatives (iNANO, nanoGUNE, MANA, GDR-I, etc.). TNT events have demonstrated that they are particularly effective in transmitting information and establishing contacts among workers in this field. The TNT2015 structure will keep the fundamental features of the previous editions, providing a unique opportunity for broad interaction.
(with audio) Horizontally oriented nanowire transistors simplify multiple gate fabrication and help towards 3D networks.
Researchers in Japan have made the world’s smallest-width graphene nanoribbons ever – inside carbon nanotubes.
SEFCU, SUNY Poly CNSE Announce Winning Student-Led Teams in the 6th Annual $500,000 New York Business Plan Competition
Student team UMA Bioseed receives $100,000 grand prize for a unique seed coating enabling higher crop yields; Five teams awarded $10,000 first place prizes out of the 500 teams that applied to take...
Northwestern scientists develop first liquid nanolaser: Technology could lead to new way of doing 'lab on a chip' medical diagnostics
Northwestern University scientists have developed the first liquid nanoscale laser. And it's tunable in real time, meaning you can quickly and simply produce different colors, a unique and useful feat...
Nanotech-enabled moisturizer speeds healing of diabetic skin wounds: Spherical nucleic acids silence gene that interferes with wound healing
A new high-tech but simple ointment applied to the skin may one day help diabetic patients heal stubborn and painful ulcers on their feet, Northwestern University researchers report.