Archive for Nanotechnology

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Smart Nano-colloidal Metamaterials

Metamaterials have been getting recent press for their potential to create invisibility cloaks. Colloids are particle suspensions that have always been part of our lives (blood, milk, fog…) and operate at the nano level. Smart materials offer the ability to change their characteristics under control. Incorporating metamaterials into colloids will allow them to be deployed […]

Photonic Crystal Fibers

Photonic crystal fibers (PCFs) are microstructured optical fibers that use tiny air hole capillaries arranged in a pattern around the center of the fiber. This makes the light propagation far superior to conventional fibers, requiring fewer repeaters and less amplification over long distances. PCFs are also capable of handling high energy lasers efficiently. What is […]

Plasmons Used in Optical Communications

When ripples in the fluid-like free electrons in conducting metals form oscillations, they can act like virtual particles and are called “plasmons”, a category of quasiparticles. Controlling plasmons which interact with light allows fast and efficient modulation of light based communications. What is a plasmon? – [nanoscale.blogspot.com] A plasmon is a collective excitation of the […]

Smart Camouflage from Squid

Studying active camouflage techniques seen in squid, allows University of Bristol researchers to model an artificial skin that can do the same thing. They hope this will lead to dynamic illumination in clothing and even cloaking. Squid inspires camouflaging smart materials – [bristol.ac.uk] Researchers from the University of Bristol have shown it is possible to […]

Injecting Electronics into the Brain

Several years ago, a wireless brain sensor capable of being implanted was being tested at Brown University. A team at Harvard has been working on creating scaffolds of a mesh of nano wires sandwiched in between layers of organic polymers, allowing it to culture living cells, creating a kind of “cyborg” tissue. They have now […]

Software That Creates Hardware

All of our work at chiseling shapes out of matter originates with an idea of something. Then we find a way to manifest that idea through some technique of manipulating energy and matter. We “see” patterns in the swirl of the world around us and decide to recreate that pattern in a new form. The […]

Superconducting Islands Amplify Photon Pressure

The ripple in space that we call a photon, or wave/particle of light, does have some mass, but it is so small that is almost zero. It normally takes millions of photons just to measure any impact at all. Joint research based in Finland shows that an island of superconductivity can amplify the ability to […]

3D Printing Graphene Aerogels

Aerogel, aka “frozen smoke” is a light, porous, nearly translucent, matrix of silica, made by removing the liquid part of a gel. Aerogels can also be made from metals and from carbon. Graphene versions of aerogel offer intriguing combinations of strength and electrical conductivity. Lawrence Livermore Laboratory is working on a process that uses 3D […]

Colloidal Camouflage

Cuttlefish dynamically change both the color and texture of their skin to create camouflage that matches the environment around them. A University of Nebraska research team is doing the same thing using colloids in a multilayered structure. When light hits the colloid layer, heat convection reassembles it to replicate the light pattern. This technique is […]

Printing Liquid Metal

Flexible conductors printed on elastic materials is possible using a liquid metal nanoparticle filled ink. A new class of metallic nanoparticles is likely to spawn breakthroughs in fields such as: soft robotics, conformable electronics, wireless communications, micro/nanofluidics, wearable/implantable devices, and energy storage and transport systems. Inkjet-printed liquid metal could bring wearable tech, soft robotics – […]