Nanotechnology

Sand-based batteries last three times longer than conventional ones

Expect the price of sand to skyrocket! Researchers at  University of California, Riverside have devised a coin-sized battery that uses silicone at its anode (negative side), instead of the over-used graphite, that lasts up to three times longer than conventional lithium-ion batteries. The key of the research is the silicon extraction method which uses quartz-rich […]

Blackest material resembles a black hole. It’s so black you can’t even see it

You might have thought black is too solemn or boring, but you may just change your mind. Through careful material science manipulation, involving thousands of tightly packed carbon nanotubes, British company Surrey NanoSystems made a super black coating that absorbs almost 99.96%  of visual light – a world record. Practically only a tiny fraction of the visual […]

New way to make affordable high efficiency stacked solar cells

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign report they’ve devised a new type of highly efficient solar cell that is potentially easier to manufacture and cheaper than cells of similar performance. The stacked cell allows photon energy to be garnered from across the whole solar spectrum, and this new design makes use of a […]

Graphene: unlimited heat conductivity

It’s official – graphene is the wonder material of the millennium. A team of researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz and the National Univ. of Singapore found that thermal conductivity of graphene diverges with the size of the samples. What’s the big deal? Well, the findings show that the thermal […]

Excition fission model could vastly improve solar cell efficiency

The most basic principle of a solar cell is that it works by transferring the energy from an incoming photon (light) to a molecule, which causes one or more electrons to become displaced until an electrical current is formed. That’s the absolute gist of it, only besides electricity, some of the incoming photon energy gets […]

Excitons observed in action for the first time

A technique developed by MIT researchers reveals the motion of energy-carrying quasiparticles (excitons) in solid material. Let’s work that out in common English. Quasiparticles aren’t technically particles, but they act like they are. It’s hard to give a definition without going into more complicated physics here, but a quasiparticle is a disturbance, in a medium, that behaves […]

Nanoparticles make turkey eggs microbe-resistant

Australian brush turkeys incubate their eggs in places most animals would stay clear of: moist piles of rotting vegetation. There are some advantages to this approach, most notably that the heat released by the microbes keeps the eggs warm but those same microbes can also get through eggshells and kill the embryos. However, even though the risks […]

DNA nanobots deliver drugs in living cockroaches – it’s a computer, inside a cockroach

The future is here. Nano-sized entities made of DNA that are able to perform the same kind of logic operations as a silicon-based computer have been introduced into a living animal. It’s every Science Fiction fan’s dream come true. The tiny DNA computers are called origami robots, because they work by folding and unfolding strands of DNA; […]

Stitches to become a thing of the past? Doctors to use polymer nanofibers to promote healing

Throughout the world, tens of millions of people get stitches every year, and researchers have been looking for better options for quite a while. Now, a team of Maryland researchers proposed applying sticky, biodegradable mats of polymer nanofibers onto surgical incisions to seal them and promote healing. This is not a new idea, but the […]

Sending a text message using Vodka molecules – the first continuous molecular communication

In nature, organisms communicate in various ways, be it through acoustic or biological signals. Insects, for instance, communicate and relay important information, such as a threat to a hive, using pheromones – an excreted chemical with a particular signature. Scientists at the University of Warwick in the UK and the York University in Canada have […]

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