Posts tagged as: nano

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Religion Colors Americans’ Views Of Nanotechnology

‘Is nanotechnology morally acceptable? For a significant percentage of Americans, the answer is no, according to a recent survey of Americans’ attitudes about the science of the very small. [..]

“Our data show a much lower percentage of people who agree that nanotechnology is morally acceptable in the U.S. than in Europe,” says Scheufele, an expert on public opinion and science and technology. [..]

In a sample of 1,015 adult Americans, only 29.5 percent of respondents agreed that nanotechnology was morally acceptable.’


Saturday, October 13, 2007


Bizarre/Beautiful Micrograph Contest

‘The fields of research covered by this conference have been at the forefront of the drive to develop technology to make smaller and smaller structures. We have ventured into size regimes where we are often dependent on microscopes and the skill of microscopists to see the results of our work (and often what went wrong). To highlight the importance of micrographs to the field, the conference holds a micrograph contest. The entries were judged both from the technological and artistic standpoint. Six categories were defined [..]’


Saturday, September 29, 2007


‘Hot’ Ice Could Lead To Medical Device

‘Harvard physicists have shown that specially treated diamond coatings can keep water frozen at body temperature, a finding that may have applications in future medical implants.

Doctoral student Alexander Wissner-Gross and Efthimios Kaxiras, physics professor and Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics, spent a year building and examining computer models that showed that a layer of diamond coated with sodium atoms will keep water frozen up to 108 degrees Fahrenheit.

In ice, water molecules are arranged in a rigid framework that gives the substance its hardness. The process of melting is somewhat like a building falling down: pieces that had been arranged into a rigid structure move and flow against one another, becoming liquid water.

The computer model shows that whenever a water molecule near the diamond-sodium surface starts to fall out of place, the surface stabilizes it and reassembles the crystalline ice structure.’


Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Paper-thin battery may revolutionise electronics

‘US researchers say they have invented a lightweight paper battery that could serve as an enhanced power storage device for the next generation of consumer electronic devices.

The battery produces electricity in the same way as the conventional lithium-ion batteries that power so many of today’s gadgets, but all the components have been incorporated into a lightweight, flexible sheet of paper.

An early prototype of the device, just big enough to be held between thumb and forefinger, kicks out 2.5 volts, enough juice to power a small fan, or illuminate a light, and its inventors say the battery can be easily scaled up to provide enough power to run any number of electronic gadgets.

“You can stack one sheet on top of another to boost the power output,” said Robert Linhardt, a biology and chemistry professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, and a project team member.’

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Almost Bulletproof Sheet of Gold Is Only 50 Atoms Thick

‘Scientists managed to create an ultrastrong material that has many of the characteristics of the plexiglas, used to make bulletproof glass. The strange thing about this material is the fact that it’s made of a 50-atom-thick layer of gold particles.

Seen under a microscope, the new material, developed by scientists at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory looks like a transparent sheet of closely packed gold nanoparticles separated by organic spacers, placed atop a silicon chip. It consists of gold particles separated by organic “bumpers” to keep them from coming into direct contact.

“It’s an amazing little marvel,” said Heinrich Jaeger, Professor in Physics at the University of Chicago. “This is not a very fragile layer, but rather a robust, resilient membrane.” Some of the properties of this sheet are remarkable, like the fact that it maintains its structural integrity at relatively high temperatures, even when poked with ultrafine tips of metal.’


Thursday, May 10, 2007


Mystery revealed: Poppy quarter led to U.S. spy warnings

‘An odd-looking Canadian coin with a bright red flower was the culprit behind the U.S. Defence Department’s false espionage warning earlier this year, The Associated Press has learned.

The odd-looking — but harmless — “poppy coin” was so unfamiliar to suspicious U.S. Army contractors travelling in Canada that they filed confidential espionage accounts about them. The worried contractors described the coins as “anomalous” and “filled with something man-made that looked like nano-technology,” according to once-classified U.S. government reports and e-mails obtained by the AP. [..]

The supposed nano-technology actually was a conventional protective coating the Royal Canadian Mint applied to prevent the poppy’s red colour from rubbing off. The mint produced nearly 30 million such quarters in 2004 commemorating Canada’s 117,000 war dead.’

Followup to Canadian spy coins never existed.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


New Experiment Probes Weird Zone Between Quantum and Classical

‘The strange boundary between the macroscopic world and the weird realm of quantum physics is about to be probed in a unique experiment.

Scientists have created a minute cantilever arm on the surface of a silicon chip that they hope will leave the world of classical physics and enter the quantum realm when cooled to near absolute zero.

The experiment will be the first time scientists have ever scaled an object in the observable world down into the slippery world of quantum mechanics.

“I think it’s really possible to observe quantum effects (in the cantilever arm) with this experiment,” said Peter Rabl of the University of Innsbruck in Austria, who isn’t part of the experiment.

“Either you have a real, macroscopic object in a quantum state — or you find out that quantum mechanics doesn’t work for the macroscopic world,” he said. “In either case, it would be quite fascinating.”‘

Saturday, April 14, 2007


New cement conducts electricity like metal

‘A team of researchers led by professor Hideo Hono of the Tokyo Institute of Technology has developed a new type of alumina cement that conducts electricity like metal by altering the crystal structure at the nano level.

Ordinary alumina cement made from a lime-alumina compound (C12A7) has a crystal structure consisting of asymmetric cages, making it a poor conductor of electricity. But by sealing the alumina cement compound along with titanium inside a glass tube and heating it to 1,100 degrees Celsius, the researchers were able to create a homogenized, symmetrical cage structure that conducts electricity like metal.’


Sunday, January 7, 2007


Self-Cleaning Underwear Goes Weeks Without Washing

`Self-cleaning fabrics could revolutionize the sport apparel industry. The technology, created by scientists working for the U.S. Air Force, has already been used to create t-shirts and underwear that can be worn hygenically for weeks without washing.

The new technology attaches nanoparticles to clothing fibers using microwaves. Then, chemicals that can repel water, oil and bacteria are directly bound to the nanoparticles. These two elements combine to create a protective coating on the fibers of the material.

This coating both kills bacteria, and forces liquids to bead and run off.’


Wednesday, December 20, 2006


World’s strongest nanowires ‘near perfect materials’

`Scientists say they have made the world’s strongest nanowire, reaching the theoretical limits of what they had designed. [..]

“The ultimate strength we report is the highest recorded for any semiconductor material system and is at the theoretically predicted limit,” says Sader, who was involved in measuring the strength of the wires using an atomic force microscope.

“This indicates that these nanowires are near perfect materials.” [..]

They then tested the strength by placing it across a small trench and manipulating it sideways. They found it could bend and stretch farther than any nanowire made previously, sustaining 15 gigapascals before snapping. If the wire were one centimetre in diameter it could hold up to 100 tonnes without breaking, Sader says.’


Sunday, December 3, 2006


Israel developing anti-militant “bionic hornet”

`Israel is using nanotechnology to try to create a robot no bigger than a hornet that would be able to chase, photograph and kill its targets, an Israeli newspaper reported on Friday.

The flying robot, nicknamed the “bionic hornet,” would be able to navigate its way down narrow alleyways to target otherwise unreachable enemies such as rocket launchers, the daily Yedioth Ahronoth said.

It is one of several weapons being developed by scientists to combat militants, it said. Others include super gloves that would give the user the strength of a “bionic man” and miniature sensors to detect suicide bombers.’

Wednesday, November 8, 2006


Cicada wings become nano-stamps

`The wings of noisy cicada insects have been harnessed as nanoscale printing blocks. Chinese scientists say the synthetic wings could someday be used to make anti-reflective lens coatings and improved laser microscopes.

Cicada’s wings are covered with thousands of pillar-like protrusions. Each is 400 nanometres tall and tapers from 150 nm wide at the base to 80 nm at the tip. [..]

The technique, called “nanoimprint lithography”, involved pressing a wing into a layer of heated plastic to create an imprint, making a mould of the nanoscopic pattern found on each wing.’

Monday, October 30, 2006


How to Burn a Three Terabyte CD

`A new nano-optical device can focus laser light tighter than traditional optics, which could lead to higher-density data storage.

A computer simulation of the optical nano antenna that Harvard researchers have fabricated. Consisting of two gold-coated nano rods separated by a 30-nanometer gap, the antenna can focus light from a commercial laser to a spot just 40 nanometers wide. It could be used to write terabytes, rather than gigabytes, of data to a CD or DVD.’


Sunday, July 23, 2006


Nanotubes Might Not Have the Right Stuff

`Scientists and science fiction fans alike have big plans for carbon nanotubes; it has been hoped that a cable made of carbon nanotubes would be strong enough to serve as a space elevator. However, recent calculations by Nicola Pugno of the Polytechnic of Turin, Italy, suggest that carbon nanotube cables will not work.

[..] Laboratory tests have demonstrated that flawless individual nanotubes can withstand about 100 gigapascals of tension; however, if a nanotube is missing just one carbon atom, it can reduce its strength by as much as thirty percent. Bulk materials made of many connected nanotubes are even weaker, averaging less than 1 gigapascal in strength.

In order to function, a space elevator ribbon would need to withstand at least 62 gigapascals of tension.’


Saturday, May 13, 2006


Mini Machines Photo Gallery

Images of some tiny machines.


Friday, May 5, 2006


Toxic warning for nano industry

`Nanotechnology companies need to do more to understand potential toxic effects of their products, a senior UK researcher has warned.

Professor Anthony Seaton, of Aberdeen University, said “very little” was still known about the health impacts of particles engineered at small scales.

His concern over nanoparticles covered production and lab workers as well as consumers, he told a conference.’

Thursday, February 2, 2006


Perfect Plumbing

`Scientists at the University of Kentucky have built tiny pipes that move water 10,000 times as fast as the conventional laws of fluid flow allow, mimicking for the first time the seamless way fluids progress through our cells. Theyve also found a way to control which molecules can pass through the pipes, a discovery that could yield safer, more efficient skin patches to deliver medicine into the body. The pipes are made of carbon nanotubes, thin sheets of graphite rolled into cylinders just seven billionths of a meter in diameter. [..]’


Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Matter bound by light

`Scientists in the UK have made 2D arrays of particles that are held together by nothing except light. The “optical matter” arrays developed by Colin Bain of Durham University and Christopher Mellor, now at the National Institute for Medical Research, consist of polystyrene nanospheres that are trapped by light that has been scattered off a prism. The arrays provide a new way of assembling matter on the nanoscale, and could also shed light on processes inside crystals that take place at even smaller scales [..]’

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Chinese float liquid condom concept

`Dubbed the Nanometer-silver Cryptomorphic Condom (NCC), it’s designed for female rather than male usage. The condom-in-a-can is essentially an antiseptic foam spray that the manufacturer claims forms a physical membrane inside the vagina, protecting it from infection, acting as a barrier to pregnancy and providing a lubricating effect. [..]

“It can remain in the vagina for a long time without destroying the vagina’s chemical balance,” the company adds. “Daily use of this product can help maintain genital hygiene and prevent infection by pathogens”.’

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


The World’s Smallest Fountain Pen

‘Researchers have created the world’s smallest fountain pen with a tip so tiny it can draw lines a hundred times thinner than a red blood cell.

Called the “nanonfountain probe,” it can paint lines as thin as 40 nanometers and has its own reservoir to hold various types of inks, including pigments for painting patterns and organic materials for designing sensors. [..]

The new pen can be attached to the atomic-force microscope, which allows scientists to see nanoscale environments as well as draw on them. Possible uses for such a tiny pen, or an array of several of them, include crafting miniscule protein arrays and complex semiconductors.’