Skip to main content

Tag: nanoscience

Jan 22, 2014

Why a New Catalyst for Hydrogen Production May Be a Big Deal

A research team led by Linyou Cao at NC State has shown that a one-atom thick film of molybdenum sulfide (MoS2  ) may work as an effective catalyst for creating hydrogen. Hydrogen holds great promise as an energy source, but the production of hydrogen from water electrolysis – freeing hydrogen from water with electricity – currently… 

Mar 18, 2013

The Heat Is On to Understand Thermal Transport between Materials

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Mark Losego, a research assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at NC State. Losego recently co-authored a News and Views article about nanoscale heat flow in Nature Materials with David Cahill of the University of Illinois. The basics of heat flow have long been overlooked, but now,… 

Nov 26, 2012

Size Matters When Reducing NiO Nanoparticles

New research finds that size plays a major role in how nanoscale nickel oxide (NiO) shells behave when being reduced to solid nickel nanoparticles. “This advances our fundamental understanding of how the structures of nanoparticles can be changed through chemical reactions, which has potential applications in nanofabrication and catalysis,” says Joe Tracy, a materials scientist… 

Apr 2, 2012

What Impact Can A Single Machine Have?

What impact can a single machine have? If it is an aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscope (AC-STEM), the impact may be pretty big. A uniquely-configured AC-STEM is a new arrival at NC State, but is expected to boost research across North Carolina’s Research Triangle – and help keep the region relevant in research and development (R&D)… 

Jun 7, 2011

T-Shirt Transistors?

The touch, the feel … the conductivity … of cotton. Researchers at NC State hope to make that a reality by applying conductive nanocoatings to common textile materials in order to improve current and future electronic devices. Normally, conductive nanocoatings are applied to inorganic materials like silicon. But researchers believe nanotechnology can be used to create… 

Jan 14, 2011

Loaded Question: A Problem With Public Opinion Polls On Science

When it comes to science and technology, it appears that people don’t actually dislike the things they say they dislike. At the very least, a new study shows, people don’t dislike those things as much as they think they do. The fault, dear reader, lies not in ourselves, but in our polls. The study, published… 

Dec 6, 2010

Dispatches From The North Pole: The Science of Santa’s Sleigh

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of occasional dispatches from Dr. Larry Silverberg, a researcher at NC State who is leading a visiting scholars program at Santa’s Workshop-North Pole Labs (NPL). Dr. Silverberg is an expert in unified field theory and is accompanied by four other mechanical and aerospace engineers: Drs. Mohammad Zikry… 

Nov 29, 2010

Building a Better Sun-Trap

How does the saying go? Build a better solar cell and the world will beat a path to your efficiently temperature-controlled and environmentally friendly door? Okay, maybe that’s not exactly the saying, but you’ve got to admit that the idea of cheaper, more efficient solar technology is at least as compelling today as the idea… 

Oct 28, 2010

How Long Should DNA Strands Be?

This is not a purely abstract question (pun intended). Complementary strands of DNA are drawn to one another like magnets and iron filings – a trait that has created the emerging field of DNA self-assembly. But research, and industrial application, in this area has been hampered by a lack of reliability in how the DNA… 

Aug 25, 2010

The Microneedle And (Diagnosing) The Damage Done

A forthcoming paper from Faraday Discussions shows that scientists have been able to create hollow microneedles that can be used to inject quantum dots into skin. Quantum dots are emerging as powerful diagnostic tools for cancers (among other diseases), so this could be a significant advance in medical technology used to diagnose medical conditions. In… 

May 4, 2010

Yes To ‘Fantastic Voyage,’ No To Steve Austin

How comfortable are you with the idea of doctors using nanotechnology in your body? If you are like most people, the answer is “It depends.” A new national survey finds that people are much more likely to support nanotechnology-based “human enhancement” if it is used to help sick or injured people get well – via… 

Apr 28, 2010

Connecting The Nanodots

Picture a really big library. Imagine that it contains 2.5 million books, and that each of those books is 400 pages long. Now imagine that you could fit ALL of those books onto a computer chip the size of your thumbnail. Researchers just figured out how to do exactly that. The trick is to use… 

Apr 20, 2010

Get Smart

Agent 86 would be proud. Dr. Jay Narayan led the way in the development of “smart sensors,” integrating a sensor material called vanadium oxide with silicon chips to create sensors that can manipulate and respond to information (it has to do with something called “domain matching epitaxy”). These sensors are used in a variety of… 

Apr 19, 2010

Little Things Mean A Lot

It is widely thought that advances in the use of engineered nanoscale materials will have significant impacts on fields ranging from medicine to electronics – but how do we get there from here? We are talking about manufacturing and manipulating things so small it’s difficult to conceptualize what we’re talking about. After all, William Powell…