Nanotechnology Resources

Beyond LEDs: Brighter, new energy-saving flat panel lights based on carbon nanotubes

posted Oct 15, 2014, 2:41 PM by   [ updated Oct 15, 2014, 2:41 PM ]

Beyond LEDs: Brighter, new energy-saving flat panel lights based on carbon nanotubes

Even as the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics has enshrined light emitting diodes (LEDs) as the single most significant and disruptive energy-efficient lighting solution of today, scientists around the world continue unabated to search for the even-better-bulbs of tomorrow.

Enter electronics.

Electronics based on carbon, especially carbon nanotubes (CNTs), are emerging as successors to silicon for making semiconductor materials. And they may enable a new generation of brighter, low-power, low-cost lighting devices that could challenge the dominance of (LEDs) in the future and help meet society's ever-escalating demand for greener bulbs.

Scientists from Tohoku University in Japan have developed a new type of energy-efficient flat light source based on carbon nanotubes with very low power consumption of around 0.1 Watt for every hour's operation—about a hundred times lower than that of an LED.


10 Nanotech Breakthroughs You Should Know About

posted Oct 13, 2014, 11:59 AM by

Nanotechnology has been hailed as the next big thing for decades, but it is only now that it is truly becoming a reality in the medical device space.

The term nanotechnology itself dates back to the 1980s, when it was coined by U.S. engineer Eric Drexler. In the past few decades, nanotech has found a steadily growing number of applications in everything from computing to textiles. It remains to be seen to what extent nanotechnology will reshape medicine, but nanotech advances are continually being announced.

We asked Roger Narayan, PhD, professor at the University of North Carolina/North Carolina State University Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering (Chapel Hill and Raleigh, respectively), about what areas he and his team have been examining, to get a preview of what the next crop of graduates might bring to the party. We also spoke with Chris Folk, principal engineer, Device Strategy Group at Amgen Inc. (Thousand Oaks, CA), to get his take on some other areas that bear watching.

“We are focusing on two activities,” Narayan says, “thin-film growth for medical device applications and 3-D printing at small scales. We are examining the deposition of ceramic thin films on medical devices using pulsed laser deposition, chemical vapor deposition, and atomic layer deposition.

“We have looked at using atomic layer deposition to grow films of titanium oxide and zinc oxide in a conformal manner on nanostructured surfaces for use in medical devices. In addition, we have used chemical vapor deposition to grow a hard carbon material known as ultrananocrystalline diamond on nanostructured surfaces.” Narayan explains, “This is also for use in medical devices. We are examining the processing of many types of medical devices, includingmicroneedles, both for drug delivery and for biosensing.”

Folk says, “I find this to be a very interesting time. In terms of medical nanotechnology there are changes happening. In terms of drug delivery, there are new platforms being built. Generally, there are new ways of interacting with the body. There are a lot of challenges right now. I think there are more opportunities for innovation and more positive inertia in creative thinking than we've seen in a while, so I'm excited.”

“I look at the devices themselves,” Folk continues, “Many of them are getting smaller. There are a bunch of different ways that nanotechnology is being involved. There's a lot going on in terms of wearables, and in the cardiovascular and diagnostics spaces.”

Additionally, MPMN editors recap 10 recent advances that could be commercialized in the relatively near future.


Ultra-fast charging batteries that can be 70% recharged in just two minutes

posted Oct 13, 2014, 11:51 AM by   [ updated Oct 15, 2014, 2:42 PM ]

Ultra-fast charging batteries that can be 70% recharged in just two minutes

Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) have developed a new battery that can be recharged up to 70 per cent in only 2 minutes. The battery will also have a longer lifespan of over 20 years.

Expected to be the next big thing in battery technology, this breakthrough has a wide-ranging impact on many industries, especially for electric vehicles which are currently inhibited by long recharge times of over 4 hours and the limited lifespan of batteries.


Nanotech Battery Breakthrough Promises 30 Second Smartphone Charging

posted Oct 13, 2014, 11:47 AM by   [ updated Oct 15, 2014, 2:28 PM ]

Smartphones are some of the most useful devices we own. However, their battery life leaves a lot to be desired. Even the most power frugal devices need to be charged daily during heavy use – something that many of us have found out to our cost.

However, it’s not just capacity that’s the problem. The time it takes to charge current batteries means that if you forget to hook your smartphone up to the mains when you get home, you’ll likely wake up to a dead device that needs several hours next to a power socket or PC USB port to be fully charges again.

New battery technology seems to be painfully slow at making an appearance and current gains are measured in single percentage figures while much can simply be put down to more efficient smartphone processors than increases in battery capacity on its own.

However, there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the daily battle to keep your smartphone charged. Israel-based nanotech company StoreDot has been working on a new type of battery that it has shown can go from flat to fully-charged in as little as thirty seconds.


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