In simplest terms, cellular automata can be thought of as groups of ‘cells’ in which the state of an individual cell will flip depending on the states of its neighbors. A ‘cell’ can be a pixel, a molecule, etc. The mathematical rules associated with cellular automation are complex and have been applied to fields as [...]
Archive for the 'Nanoscale Bulk Technologies' Category
Good old fashioned boxes are here to stay, even in the context of nanoscale devices. Across a broad range of technologies and size regimes, boxes serve as containers for components, barriers against contaminants and/or radiation, and, as in the case of cell membranes, can be permeable to allow selected interactions between the interior and exterior. [...]
A pillar constructed and positioned using DNA nanotechnology holds two gold nanoparticles and a dye molecule to enhance fluorescence over a hundred fold.
Two current-day nanotechnologies using two-different optical techniques and two different media will soon make possible petabyte data storage media, in one case with 100,000 times the storage lifetime of current optical disks.
Quantum dots are semiconducting, nanoscale clusters that show electronic characteristics distinct from both bulk-scale materials and single molecules. Their special characteristics make quantum dots attractive for a broad range of potential applications, including photovoltaics and nanoscale transistors. The size and shape of quantum dots impact electrical properties and can therefore be used to tune the [...]
Soon after graphene sheets were being produced on a laboratory scale routinely, researchers began producing the hydrogenated version graphane (with a hydrogen atom on each carbon). This step is one of many approaches aimed at harnessing graphene’s powerful conductivity and is also being explored for hydrogen storage and other potential applications (more info in this [...]
**Updates: July 2014 — Research out of Argonne National Lab suggested that silicene may have never actually been successfully synthesized, rather that spectra indicate a mixture of silicon and silicon-substrate alloy; see article on Phys.org. August 2014 — Research out of Italy suggests that their spectra establish the presence of silicene though not in a [...]
Even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious, superparamagnetism may become a familiar term in the context of nanoscale electronics and devices. Loosely speaking, superparamagnetism is a size-based phenomenon in which materials that are ferromagnetic on the macroscale — meaning predisposed toward strong magnetization at room temperature, such as iron and nickel — [...]
Researchers from UCLA’s California NanoSystems Institute and Northwestern University have combined multiple imaging techniques to produce high quality 3D images of platinum nanoparticles, allowing advanced visualization of atomic-scale structural defects (an important advancement over X-ray crystallography). The original 2012 work, published in Nature and posted by Jim Lewis here, used electron tomography to study 10-nm [...]
Nanoparticles decorated to avoid immune system recognition were tested in mice and shown to survive longer and deliver more imaging dye and drug to tumor cells.
A proposed large project to produce a dynamic map of the functional connectome of the human brain will require a convergence of neuroscience, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and computation, and may therefore spur the development of advanced nanotechnology leading to molecular manufacturing.
The advent of new technologies is typically followed by new government regulation, and in the absence of data, fear-based reactionism can have far too much influence on policy. Quality research studies on real risks and impacts of nanoscale technologies can help lead to legitimate scientific consensus and appropriate regulation. Engineered nanoparticles draw particular attention, because [...]
Core-shell nanocapsules deliver a potent protein complex to the nucleus of cancer cells where it induces them to commit suicide, while the complex degrades harmlessly in the cytoplasm of normal cells.
An interview with Foresight Co-Founder and Past President Christine Peterson covering both the current state and the future prospects of nanotechnology is available on Youtube.
One research group working with rotaxanes and another group working with carbon nanotubes have provided two very different solutions to the problem of producing motion via artificial muscles at different scales from the nano to the macro.
New time-resolved, high-energy Xray studies of mechanochemical (ball milling) reactions take another step toward reducing the gap between current and future machine-phase chemistry.
Large molecular cages constructed from metal-organic frameworks have set a record for the greatest surface area in the least mass.
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are back in the news again. A few months ago we cited the use of MOFs by Canadian chemists to self-assemble a molecular wheel on an axis in a solid material. More recently chemists at Northwestern University have used MOFs to set a world record for surface area. From “A world record for highest-surface-area materials“:
Northwestern University researchers have broken a world record by creating two new synthetic materials with the greatest amount of surface areas reported to date.
Named NU-109 and NU-110, the materials belong to a class of crystalline nanostructure known as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) that are promising vessels for natural-gas and hydrogen storage for vehicles, and for catalysts, chemical sensing, light harvesting, drug delivery, and other uses requiring a large surface area per unit weight.
The materials’ promise lies in their vast internal surface area. If the internal surface area of one NU-110 crystal the size of a grain of salt could be unfolded, the surface area would cover a desktop. …
MOFs are composed of organic linkers held together by metal atoms, resulting in a molecular cage-like structure. The researchers believe they may be able to more than double the surface area of the materials by using less bulky linker units in the materials’ design. …
Beyond their near-term practical applications, Eric Drexler has cited MOFs as potentially useful building blocks in the molecular machine path to molecular manufacturing. Near-term applications may drive the technology development to produce more choices for molecular machine system components.
—James Lewis, PhD
Optimizing the size and charge of nanoparticles engineered from polymers delivers drugs directly to mitochondria, effectively treating cells with drugs for a variety of diseases.
An online course coupled with hands on training in Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy and Transmission Electron Microscopy given in Mountain View, California, is being offered by Foothill College and NASA-ASL (NASA-Ames).
Studies in mice with otherwise fatal blood clots have shown that targeting a clot-busting drug to regions where blood flow is blocked restores circulation and increases survival with a much lower, safer dose of the drug.