If those new airport X-ray scanners offend your modest sensibilities, you may not want to read this. A new terahertz remote sensor may soon be able to see through walls, packaging materials, and even clothing from thousands of feet away, identifying materials contained inside through their unique spectral signatures.
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.
By Gregory MonePosted 08.15.2007 at 4:41 pm 0 Comments
Engineers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a flexible, paper-like battery that can function in temperatures up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and derive power from human sweat...and blood. While this might sound strange, the idea is that you could use them to power small implanted devices, like pacemakers, and the electrolytes found in blood, urine or sweat could be used to activate the battery.
But the coolest feature may be the battery's structure. It's 90 percent cellulose, which means it's basically a piece of paper. The difference is that this paper is laced with a carbon nanotube skeleton. The nanotubes conduct electricity through the device, and allow it to be bent and twisted without breaking. Best of all, in the when-does-this-thing-get-into-our-gadgets sense, is the fact that it may end up being cheap to produce, since the materials are inexpensive.—Gregory Mone
By Dave ProchnowPosted 08.15.2007 at 11:52 am 0 Comments
Researchers at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York have created a nano-engineered battery that is lightweight, ultra thin, and completely flexible. What sounds like a fantasy wish list for a stripper could actually be the power supply for a future iPhone model…or, for that matter, any other outlandish futuristic gadget.
These diminutive dynamos are formed from paper and a solid electrolyte. The benefit of a solid electrolyte is an ability to perform well under wild temperature extremes. Not willing to leave well enough alone, though, these researchers went on to further demonstrate that naturally occurring electrolytes in human sweat, blood, and urine can be used to activate the battery device. OK, maybe ‘blood, sweat, and tears, but whos going to buy a battery that smells like wee-wee? Not me-me.
By Mike HaneyPosted 07.18.2005 at 4:55 pm 0 Comments
Nobody likes a mess, even a microscopic one. For one thing, it´s tough to clean what you can´t see. That´s why researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are crafting the world´s smallest brooms. The tiny tools are made by growing bristles of superstrong carbon nanotubes on a silicon-carbide fiber just 16 microns in diameter, or about half as thick as a human hair. Scientists create the “handle” by coating one end of the fiber with gold, which inhibits nanotube growth.