3D printing nanoresonators: Towards miniaturized and multifunctional sensors

Micro-electro-mechanical devices (MEMS) are based on the integration of mechanical and electrical components on a micrometer scale. We all use them continuously in our everyday life: For example, in our mobile phones there are at least a dozen MEMS that regulate different activities ranging from motion, position, and inclination monitoring of the phone; active filters for the different transmission bands, and the microphone itself.

phys.org > Nanomaterials

Large-scale synthesis methods for single-atom catalysts for alkaline fuel cells

Alkaline fuel cells (AFC) convert the chemical energy of hydrogen and oxygen into electrical energy, while only producing water as a by-product. This makes them an extremely attractive next generation, environmentally friendly energy source. Although platinum catalysts are generally employed in alkaline fuel cells, they are expensive and also experience challenges related to stability when used in alkaline fuel cells. As a result, single-atom catalysts (SACs), as formed on carbon supports, are becoming promising candidates as alternative, next generation catalysts. However, the commercialization of these single-atom catalysts is difficult owing to the complex synthesis methods conventionally..

phys.org > Nanomaterials

Modified silk cloth keeps skin cooler than cotton

A team of researchers affiliated with a host of entities in China and one in the U.S. has developed a modified textile that can keep skin cooler than materials made of cotton. In their paper published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, the group describes their approach to developing garments that are cooler when worn in outdoor conditions.

phys.org > Nanomaterials

Toward self-restoring electronic devices with long DNA molecules

The potential of DNA structural properties in single-molecule electronics has finally been harnessed by researchers from Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) in a single-molecule junction device that shows spontaneous self-restoring ability. Additionally, the device, based on a "zipper" DNA configuration, shows unconventionally high electrical conductivity, opening doors to the development of novel nanoelectronic devices.

phys.org > Nanomaterials

Researchers discover predictable behavior in promising material for computer memory

In the last few years, a class of materials called antiferroelectrics has been increasingly studied for its potential applications in modern computer memory devices. Research has shown that antiferroelectric-based memories might have greater energy efficiency and faster read and write speeds than conventional memories, among other appealing attributes. Further, the same compounds that can exhibit antiferroelectric behavior are already integrated into existing semiconductor chip manufacturing processes.

phys.org > Nanomaterials

Spintronics: Exotic ferromagnetic order in two-dimensions

The thinnest materials in the world are only a single atom thick. These kinds of two-dimensional or 2D materials—such as graphene, well-known as consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms—are causing a great deal of excitement among research teams worldwide. This is because these materials promise unusual properties that cannot be obtained using three-dimensional materials. As a result, 2D materials are opening the door to new applications in fields such as information and display technology, as well as for critical components in extremely sensitive sensors.

phys.org > Nanomaterials

Researchers identify ultrafast dynamics in monolayer MoS₂/ReSe₂ heterostructures

Acollaborated team led by Prof. Su Fuhai from the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science (HFIPS)of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) recently identified the ultrafast dynamics in monolayer MoS2/ReSe2heterostructures.

phys.org > Nanomaterials

Towards straintronics: Guiding excitons in 2D materials

From a team of City College of New York physicists and their collaborators in Japan and Germany comes another advancement in the study of excitons—electrically neutral quasiparticles that exist in insulators, semi-conductors and some liquids. The researchers have created an "excitonic" wire, or one-dimensional channel for excitons. This resulting devices could one day replace certain tasks that are now performed by standard transistor technology.

phys.org > Nanomaterials

Researchers move closer to controlling two-dimensional graphene

The device you are currently reading this article on was born from the silicon revolution. To build modern electrical circuits, researchers control silicon's current-conducting capabilities via doping, which is a process that introduces either negatively charged electrons or positively charged "holes" where electrons used to be. This allows the flow of electricity to be controlled and for silicon involves injecting other atomic elements that can adjust electrons—known as dopants—into its three-dimensional (3D) atomic lattice.

phys.org > Nanomaterials

New photocatalyst produces ammonia from atmospheric nitrogen at room temperature without fossil fuels

Ammonia (NH3) is a major component in fertilizer and a promising carbon-free energy carrier. However, ammonia production consumes around 2 percent of the world's total energy production and releases 500 Mt of carbon dioxide annually. A research team led by scientists at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) developed a new kind of photocatalyst that can produce ammonia from atmospheric nitrogen at room temperature using sunlight. This new method outperformed the conventional way which causes massive carbon emissions. The research team believed that such technology of sustainable ammonia production would advance the development of the future nitrogen economy.

phys.org > Nanomaterials

Carbon nanotubes could help electronics withstand outer space's harsh conditions

Space missions, such as NASA's Orion that will take astronauts to Mars, are pushing the limits of human exploration. But during their transit, spacecrafts encounter a continuous stream of damaging cosmic radiation, which can harm or even destroy onboard electronics. To extend future missions, researchers reporting in ACS Nano show that transistors and circuits with carbon nanotubes can be configured to maintain their electrical properties and memory after being bombarded by high amounts of radiation.

phys.org > Nanomaterials

A new 3D printing frontier: Self-powered wearable devices

When most people think of wearable devices, they think of smart watches, smart glasses, fitness trackers, even smart clothing. These devices, part of a fast-growing market, have two things in common: They all need an external power source, and they all require exacting manufacturing processes. Until now.

phys.org > Nanomaterials