n 2008, Fanny Beron from the École Polytechnique de Montréal and colleagues devised CoFeB nanowires. They eventually found the best composition to be Co94Fe5B1, but not before going through a long process of trial and error. While testing the magnetic properties of the films, some inevitably blew off. During one such moment, Beron used an electron scanning micrograph to record the explosion that happened when a CoFeB magnetic array was overloaded.
Most spiders weave sticky, wet webs to trap their prey, but the feather-legged lace weaver spider, Uloborus plumipes, employs a totally “high-tech” strategy. It spins an extremely thin nano-sized web, which becomes charge with electrostatic energy. Just like dust latches on to your sweater, insects are attracted and stuck to the the web. Biologists believe they’ve figured out how the spider does all of this in a newly reported paper which might help the industry design and develop ultra-strong nano filaments in the future.
Researchers at Stanford University coated flexible textile fibers with metallic nanowires to form a cohesive network that acts as a fantastic thermal insulator. The flexible material, made of silver nanowires and carbon nanotubes, is knitted together so closely that the space between individual strands is smaller than the wavelength of infrared radiation. As such, the radiation emitted by our bodies bounces between the skin and cloth.
A novel type of nanowire crystals was demonstrated by researchers at the University of Copenhagen that can fuse together both semiconductor and metallic materials with atomic precision at their interface. This way, nanowires and their electrical contacts have been fused in one hybrid material which might lay the foundation for the next generation of semiconductor electronics. A perfect fit In the
This bacterium has a lot in common with power companies. Power companies use copper wires to channel electricity (and therefore, electrons), and this bacterium developed a mechanism to do something similar: in the absence of oxygen, it grows nanowires from its own body through which it pushes electrons to nearby rocks. This is how it obtains energy, as opposed to
In a synergy between biology and electrochemistry, researchers at MIT cleverly exploited genetically modified viruses to assemble metal molecules into extremely thin nanowires that can be used as cathodes in a lithium-air battery. This type of battery has been thoroughly researched in the past few years and has sparked the interest of scientists because of its tremendous potential to store
A team of researchers from the US claim they have finally found tangible evidence that will once and for all end the controversy surrounding the Geobacter sulfurreducens, a bacteria that conducts electricity along thin protein filaments, just like a metal. In the scientists’ paper, it’s reported that aromatic amino-acids are central to both the electrical and respiratory functions of the bacteria, which funnel electrons
For some years now, scientists have been exploring the use of quantum dots as the basis for a novel type of solar cell. The advantages over conventional solar photovoltaic cells are numerous, minus one aspect: efficiency, which is actually the most important one. A new technique developed at MIT labs that uses quantum dots in conjunction with nanowires has lead
One of the biggest hurdles the solar energy industry currently faces is efficiently transforming the incoming energy from the sun’s rays. Vast fields of solar panels are a common sight, but truth of the matter is their energy output is quite low, which puts them at a technical and economic disadvantage from other renewable solutions and, most important to consider,
Moore’s law states that the processing power of computers doubles approximately every two years; as prices fall and manufacturing technology increases, researchers have now shown that wires just a few nanometres wide conduct electricity in the same way as their larger counterparts, rather than being affected by quantum mechanics – a result which surprised many physicists. Nowadays, this is an
A team of researchers from led by Guillaume Gervais from McGill’s Physics Department and Mike Lilly from Sandia National Laboratories, have managed to develop one of the smallest electronic circuits in the world using nanowires spaced across each other by a distance so small, it has to be measured at an atomic level. Miniaturization has been the dominant trend in the