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Nanotechnology

Developments in nanotechnology


Solar Power at Night?

Written by , on March 11, 2014

Physicists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, led by Federico Capasso, a world-renowned expert in semiconductor physics, photonics and solid-state electronics, have proposed a device that would harvest energy from Earth's infrared emissions into outer space. The device would consist of a "hot" plate at the temperature of the Earth and air, […]  Read more »

Using Viruses to Make Better Batteries

Written by , on March 10, 2014

Lithium-air batteries hold the promise of drastically increasing power per battery weight. However, achieving this requires solving a number of challenges, including the need to develop better, more durable materials for the batteries' electrodes and improving the number of charging-discharging cycles the batteries can withstand. MIT researchers believe that a combination of genetic engineering and […]  Read more »

Recycling Carbon Dioxide Using Gold Nanoparticles

Written by , on March 10, 2014

By using gold nanoparticles of just the right size, researchers from Brown University in Rhode Island have developed a catalyst that selectively converts carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide which can be used to make alternative fuels and useful chemicals. The scientists already knew that cabon dioxide can be converted into carbon monoixde by the presence […]  Read more »

Low Cost Hydrogen from Water

Written by , on January 14, 2014

Stanford University scientists have developed a low coat, corrosion free silicon-based water splitter comprising a silicon semiconductor coated with an ultrathin layer of nickel. The researchers believe that this could pave the way for large-scale production of clean hydrogen fuel from sunlight. In a water splitter, two semiconducting electrodes are connected and placed in water. […]  Read more »

Smart Windows

Written by , on September 2, 2013

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a new material that could lead to smart windows where people could control the amount of light and heat that gets through. The material is a thin coating of nanocrystals embedded in the glass that can dynamically modify sunlight as it passes […]  Read more »

Turning Cement into Metal Semi-conductors

Written by , on May 29, 2013

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, working with colleagues in Japan, Finland and Germany, have found a way to turn cement into a metal semiconductor that could potentially be used to make computer chips, thin film electronics and protective coatings. The team of scientists melted mayenite, a component of alumina cement, at […]  Read more »

Better Solar Cells by Mimicking Moths’ Eyes

Written by , on May 28, 2013

In thin-film solar cells, which are made up of layered films, some of the sunlight is effectively lost at every film-to-film interface because of a phenomenon called "thin-film interference". Thin-film interference is what causes oil slicks on water to take on a rainbow-coloured appearance. Some light is reflected off the surface of the oil; some […]  Read more »

Extracting Gold with Starch Instead of Cyanide

Written by , on May 27, 2013

Most modern processes to extract gold from ore or scap use a highly toxic combination of cyanide salts. Researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago have stumbled upon a way of extracting the gold that uses cornstarch instead of cyanide. The process is cheap and does not involve any substances which are ecologically harmful or dangerous. […]  Read more »

New Nanotechnology to Clean Polluted Water

Written by , on May 9, 2013

Scientists from Australia's Deakin University, together with French colleagues, say that they have manufactured a lightweight and reusable material that can absorb up to 33 times its weight in a wide range of spilt oils, chemical solvents and dyes, while repelling water. Deakin University's Dr Wei Wei Lei said that "The effective removal of oils, organic […]  Read more »

Nanotech Device Purifies a Family’s Water for $2.50 a Year

Written by , on May 8, 2013

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras have developed a simple point-of-use water filtration technology,using nanomaterials to filter and clean the water, which they say is effective for producing drinking water at a cost of just $US2.50 per year per family. The device uses a two-stage process to purify the water. In the […]  Read more »