A new type of hologram harnesses a quantum effect and uses ordinary light to make 3-D still images. Future 3-D displays based on this technology would have no need for 3-D glasses or special screens.
The technique is based on the behavior of free electrons on a metal surface, according to researchers at the RIKEN Institute in Japan.
Nanotech is looked upon by many as the next great enabling technology that will revolutionize (and is revolutionizing) everything from materials science to disease therapies to game-changing new energy technologies.
A new breed of biodegradable nanoparticles can glom on to drug-resistant bacteria, breaching their cell walls and leaking out their contents, selectively killing them. The polymer particles could someday be used in anything from injectable treatments for drug-resistant bacteria, to new antibacterial soaps and deodorants, according to inventors at IBM. After their work is done, the particles break apart, flushing away with the invaders they destroyed.
A new coating material for food packaging could keep sodas fizzy, chips crispy and military rations more edible, scientists say. It’s made of a thin film of nanoscale bits of clay, the same kind used to make bricks, mixed with polymers. When viewed under an electron microscope, the film looks like bricks and mortar, according to its creator.
Today in clever science tricks: a new kind of microscopy that can see down to resolutions smaller than the wavelength of the imaging light itself. On its face, this shouldn't be possible; the smallest resolution you should be able to get in the visible spectrum is about 200 nanometers because of the lower limits of visible light's wavelengths. But with a special lens, Dutch researchers have used 561-nanometer laser light to image gold nanoparticles just 97 nanometers across.
A new type of sensor can identify substances as small as a molecule by examining the light they reflect, potentially leading to sensors for a wide range of substances, from explosives to cancer.
The DARPA-funded sensor uses a chip full of metal pillars to boost the light signals bouncing off an object. It’s a billion times more sensitive than was previously possible, according to researchers at Princeton University.
In any contraption with moving parts--automotive engines, industrial machines, a countertop juicer--some degree of energy is lost as heat to friction. That loss can range from the relatively small amount lost by a single juicer, to the collectively huge amount lost each day by, say, all of the cars in the world (or all of the industrial machines used to manufacture them). A new nanotech solution could change that via a new lubrication technology that can cut friction by 55 percent.
A new microscope combines a normal optical scope with a see-through microsphere superlens, beating the diffraction limit of light and shattering the limits of optical microscopes.
With the new method, there is theoretically no limit on how small an object researchers will be able to see. It could potentially see inside human cells and examine live viruses for the first time.
Nanoparticles are known for their strange and unexpected properties, like providing bendable ceramics, switchable magnetization and so on. To figure out why these things happen, it would be useful to see how the structures are built, but it's hard to take a picture of a thinly stretched clump of atoms.
Now a group of researchers in Europe have figured out a way to do it, and translate those pictures into colorful 3-D graphics that allow them to count individual atoms and see how they're arranged.
Future flexible lung belts could harness energy from the rhythm of your breathing, powering pacemakers or other implantable medical devices.
Nanotechnologists have found a way to integrate flexible piezoelectric materials with a stretchy silicone rubber, fashioning materials that can withstand lots of elastic strain while also harvesting energy from motion. Other piezoelectrics are not so elastic and can crack under pressure. Piezoelectrics, you’ll recall, turn kinetic energy into electrical energy.