Have you ever been tempted to order steak tartare but decided against it for fear of getting sick? This little cell phone scanner can take a look at it for you and let you know if it does in fact harbor any E. coli bacteria.
Current optical communications schemes rely on a narrow 1.55 micron wavelength band of about 10 terahertz, a band in which optical signals can be well controlled and loss of signal/data is fairly low. But to open up optical networks to the high data load of the future, we need to open up the span of available wavelength. And using a novel quantum dot technology, researchers at the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) in Japan have done exactly that, to the tune of a roughly tenfold increase.
Next time you take your temperature, maybe think twice about its accuracy. Despite what the mercury says, not all of your cells are really at 98.6 degrees, scientists reported in a new study. Using nanoscale thermometers, researchers have shown for the first time that living cells can exist at different temperatures. Busy sections are warmer, and less-active ones are cooler.
Taking cues from DNA research, photosynthesis, and nanotechnologies, a team at the University of Toronto has engineered a new kind of “artificial molecule” that can be assembled into wholly new classes of nanomaterials, including one that can direct and control energy absorbed from light. They’ve basically built a self-assembling antenna for light out of quantum dots that could lead to wholly new ways of manipulating and harvesting light energy.
By Jennie Walters
Posted 03.30.2011 at 4:25 pm 7 Comments
A team of engineers at Ohio State University have packed a nanoparticle full of fluorescent blinking quantum dots. When the particle is attached to a single molecule, it functions as a gaudily glowing beacon.
With their bright, continuous fluorescent glow that transitions between red, green and yellow, the nanoparticle is a better way to tag molecules, both in its function and in its good looks.
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have turned a sheet of nano-thin gold into what could be the next big advance in infrared technology. Taking advantage of the unique properties of gold at the nanoscale, scientists there have created a "microlens" system that could boost detectivity in quantum-dot-based IR detectors by 20 times.
The problem with cell phone cameras is that, when you cram all the components of a larger camera into the tiny packages necessary to let them ride inside your phone, you drastically minimize their ability to capture light. But a new technology utilizing quantum dots could vastly improve the quality of your Leibovitz-like attempts at cell phone artistry without adding significant size or cost to your cell.
By JR Minkel
Posted 01.01.2005 at 3:00 pm 0 Comments
A Toxic Glow In July, researchers at Emory University made tumors in rats glow by injecting the rodents with quantum dots, submicroscopic semiconductors that shine when light is beamed at them. The next step: making the dots glow in the infrared spectrum—those wavelengths are easier to see through body tissues than are visible light waves.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.