Photonic Crystals Self-Assembled From Colloidal Particles

Scientists have worked for decades to get colloidal spheres to arrange themselves in sparser lattices, which would unleash potentially valuable optical properties. The structures, called photonic crystals, could increase the efficiency of lasers, make optical components even smaller, and increase engineers’ ability to control the flow of light. Now, New York University researchers report a pathway toward the self-assembly of these elusive photonic crystal structures never assembled before on the sub-micrometer scale. [Read More]

Carbon Dioxide Converted Into Fuel With Ultraviolet Light Catalysis

Nanoparticles that help convert carbon dioxide into methane using only ultraviolet light as an energy source have been developed by researchers at Duke University. The team now hopes to develop a version that would run on natural sunlight, a potential treasure for alternative energy. Chemists have long sought an efficient, light-driven catalyst to power this reaction, which could help reduce the growing levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere by converting it into methane, a key building block for many types of fuels. [Read More]

Photo-induced Force Microscopy Measures Nanoparticles With Light

A new technique called “photo-induced force microscopy,” which probes the optical properties of nanomaterials by measuring the physical force imparted by light, is being tested by scientists at Rice University. Isabell Thomann’s primary research centers on using nanoparticles and sunlight to reduce the carbon footprint of power plants. A major focus is photocatalysis, a class of processes in which light interacts with high-tech materials to drive chemical reactions. says Thomann, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, materials science, nanoengineering, and chemistry at Rice University. [Read More]

First Nanoscale Tunable Infrared Source Unveiled

A new nanoparticle amplifier that can generate infrared light and boost the output of one light by capturing and converting energy from a second light has been demonstrated by photonics researchers at Rice University. The creation of Rice’s Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP), the device functions similar to a laser. While lasers have a fixed output frequency, however, the output from Rice’s nanoscale “optical parametric amplifier” (OPA) can be tuned over a range of frequencies that includes a portion of the infrared spectrum. [Read More]

New Dust Fighting Tool Inspired By Geckos

The electronics industry, art conservators, and aerospace engineers can face major problems caused by micrometric and sub-micrometric contaminant particles. Or, as most of us call it, dust. These nanoparticles can stop a cellphone from functioning or steal the vividness from a painting’s colors. Taking a cue from the forces of static cling and the physics behind gecko feet, the lab of Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science Dean T. Kyle Vanderlick has come up with a promising tool in the battle against dust. [Read More]

New Nanoparticle Binding Technique Inspired By Sandcastles

Need to form flexible chains of nanoparticles in liquid in order to build tiny robots with flexible joints or make magnetically self-healing gels? Tnen you might want to revert to childhood and think about sandcastles. Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill recently showed that magnetic nanoparticles encased in oily liquid shells can bind together in water, much like sand particles mixed with the right amount of water can form sandcastles. [Read More]

Lithium-ion Battery Capacity Could Get Boost From Yolk-and-shell Nanoparticle

One big problem with electrodes in rechargeable batteries, going through cycles of charging and discharging, is they must expand and shrink during each cycle, sometimes doubling in volume, and then shrinking back. This leads to repeated shedding and reformation of the electrode’s “skin” layer that irreversibly consumes lithium, degrading the battery’s performance over time. But a unique way around the problem has been found by researchers at MIT and Tsinghua University. [Read More]

Nanoparticle Spiked Bacteria Emit Hard X-rays

Bacteria that emit intense, hard X-ray radiation have been created by researchers at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, and Institute for Plasma Research. Usually when you hear the words X-rays and bacteria in the same sentence, the bacteria are at the receiving end of the X-ray source, being imaged, irradiated for some treatment, or simply assessed for radiation damage. You don’t expect the bacteria to be used as the actual source of the X-rays. [Read More]

Engineered Nanoparticles In Surface Waters Get World's First Model

The world’s first spatiotemporally accurate model for simulating behaviour and of engineered nanoparticles in surface waters has been created by researchers of Wageningen University. Nanotechnology is developing fast. Emissions of less than 100 nm engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) are also growing as a result. Measuring ENP levls in the environment is very challenging, so exposure evaluations have to fall back on modelling. Previous models could only predict average background concentrations on a continental or national scale. [Read More]

Nanoparticles Protect Myeloma Drug In Blood From Breakdown

A novel drug therapy based on nanoparticles is effectively treating mice with multiple myeloma, a cancer of bone marrow immune cells, Washington University in St. Louis researchers say. Specifically designed to target the malignant cells, the nanoparticles guard their therapeutic load from degrading in the bloodstream, and enhance drug delivery into the cancer cells. In development of this class of potential cancer drugs, those are both longtime roadblocks. The nanoparticles ferry a drug compound which stops a protein, called Myc, that is active in numerous types of cancer, including multiple myeloma. [Read More]