Cellulose isn’t new – it’s been around as long as woody plants have – and aerogels aren’t either. But when researchers recently combined the two, they created something wholly new: a flexible, lightweight, super-absorbent sponge that can also be crushed down into a flat piece of magnetic “nanopaper” capable of supporting 400,000 pounds per square inch.
Putting the right kind of strain on a patch of graphene can make super-strong pseudo-magnetic fields, a new study says. The finding sheds new light on the properties of electromagnetism, not to mention the odd properties of graphene, according to researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. When graphene is stretched to form "nanobubbles," the stress causes electrons to behave as if they were subject to huge magnetic fields, the size of which have never been seen in a lab before. The study is published today in the journal Science.
Michael Crommie, a senior scientist in the Materials Sciences Division at Berkeley Lab and a physics professor at the University of California-Berkeley, says this is a completely new effect that has no counterpart in any other condensed matter system.
In the future, we won't need rare-earth elements to make powerful computers. We can use poplar trees. Engineers in Israel have figured out how to use protein molecules from poplars to improve computer memory. The technique uses silica nanoparticles combined with poplar proteins, according to researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Taking cues from slime molds, ants, and living biological cells, a team of University of Pittsburgh researchers has designed a system of artificial cells that can communicate with one another and cooperate to carry out tasks. The computer models they've devised could lead to artificial cellular systems that perform highly specialized jobs at the microscopic level.
Some innovations in flight are huge; for instance, this week we've already seen concepts for a flying car and caught wind of the first fully-autonomous helicopter flight.
But other aviation innovations are as simple as a fresh coat of paint. An Israeli nanotech company is claiming that it has created a special paint that makes planes, missiles, drones, and other aircraft invisible to radar.
Researchers in Buffalo are bringing us a step closer to being controlled by machines. Or magnetized nanoparticles, at least: Heated magnetic nanoparticles targeted to cell membranes could control your behavior, according to a new paper in Nature Nanotechnology.
The researchers, led by University of Buffalo physics professor Arnd Pralle, used magnetic fields to activate neurons in a cell culture and steer the movement of nematode worms.
In the next five years, the world will need a hundred-fold increase in nano workers — the people who will build nanomaterials and develop new uses for them. In Colombia, some of these workers might very well come from the slums. At least according to one nano educator.
The glare that plagues watching television in otherwise pleasantly sunny rooms could soon become a thing of the past, thanks to the evolutionary prowess of a sunlight-shunning bug. Tapping the unique properties of moth eyes, a team of Fraunhofer Institute scientists may have figured out how to remove the annoying glare from all kinds of transparent plastic screens and other reflective products.
Rarely do the worlds of nanotech and carnival cuisine overlap, but when they do the results can be pretty sweet. A team of engineers has created a technology for fabricating nanofibers that's half high-speed centrifuge, half cotton candy machine, spinning and stretching out ultra-thin nanofibers that measure just 100 nanometers in diameter.
Miniaturization has been no small force driving computer technology forward over the past five decades, and a group of Australian researchers has proved just how small they think they can go. Using just seven atoms, scientists at the University of New South Wales working with researchers at the U. of Wisconsin have carefully constructed a quantum dot transistor, the smallest deliberately built electronic device in the world.