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Archive for the 'Energy' Category

Nanowires and bacteria harnessed for artificial photosynthesis

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 4th, 2015

A prototype system to produce chemicals and fuels from sequestered carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight uses semiconductor nanowires to produce electron-hole pairs, which are then used by two types of bacteria to produce oxygen and a variety of useful chemical products.

Flexible supercapacitor from stacked nanomaterial

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 8th, 2015

A nanoporous form of graphene made by burning off other elements from an inexpensive polymer has been used to fabricate flexible supercapacitors via a process that can be scaled to industrial quantities to provide energy storage for wearable, flexible electronics.

Atomically precise manufacturing as the future of nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 8th, 2015

A commentary over at Gizmodo argues that ideas about molecular manufacturing that sounded like science fiction in 1986 now sound more like science fact.

Adding layer to a piezoelectric nanostructure increases output voltage

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 3rd, 2015

Applications of nanotechnology to wearable electronics and other portable devices will benefit from the discovery that adding an insulating layer to a piezoelectric nanostructure increases the output voltage by up to 200 times.

Computational framework for structural DNA nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 27th, 2014

A more general computational framework predicts the structures of 2D and 3D-curved DNA nanostructures impossible to predict using previously available computational methods. May lead to 3D-printing DNA nanostructures?

Nearly perfect carbon nanotubes key to energy-saving lights

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 2nd, 2014

Painting atomically precise carbon nanotubes onto a cathode produces flat panel lights a hundred times more energy efficient than LEDs.

Light-driven molecular flapping emits white light

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 10th, 2014

A phosphorescent molecule is made to flap like a butterfly when absorbed light shortens the distance between two platinum atoms.

Foresight Directed/Programmable Matter for Energy Workshop

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 10th, 2014

A small, interactive group of invited experts gathered in Palo Alto recently to discuss prospects for revolutionary advances in energy storage, transmission, and generation through nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology to provide better solar cells, optical devices

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 9th, 2014

A novel method to control the configuration of atoms in semiconductors grown on graphene will make possible a vast array of new optical devices, including better solar cells.

New Report: Nano-solutions for the 21st century

Posted by Stephanie C on December 20th, 2013

A recently released technology report titled Nano-solutions for the 21st century outlines nanotech-based solutions to global challenges. Several years in the making, the report was co-authored by Dennis Pamlin, Research Fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Research Center for Sustainable Development (RCSD web site currently in Chinese only), and Eric Drexler, Academic Visitor [...]

Next Foresight Conference on Nanotechnology in February 2014

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 28th, 2013

The Conference to be held February 7-9, 2014 in Palo Alto, California will emphasize the integration of nano-engineered devices and materials into larger, more complex systems.

Nanocrystal-in-glass composite controlled by voltage

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 23rd, 2013

Covalent bonding of nanocrystals into a glass makes the glass ‘smart’ enough to transmit heat, light, both, or neither as desired.

DNA nanotechnology builds solar energy antenna

Posted by Jim Lewis on June 21st, 2013

A simple DNA scaffold organizes light-collecting molecules for artificial photosynthesis.

Quantum dot conduction impacted by stoichiometry, not dangling bonds

Posted by Stephanie C on May 29th, 2013

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 [...]

Drexler's book tour extends to U.S. May6-9

Posted by Stephanie C on May 4th, 2013

Recently we pointed at a Forbe’s interview with Eric Drexler, in anticipation of his pending new book Radical Abundance. The book  has shipped, and Drexler’s tour schedule now includes a few stops on the coasts of the U.S: New York: May 6th Los Angeles: May 8th & 9th Seattle: May 9th Find exact times and [...]

Nanotechnology revolution: An interview with Eric Drexler

Posted by Stephanie C on March 29th, 2013

In anticipation of Eric Drexler’s new book, Forbes contributor Bruce Dorminey interviews him about the meaning of nanotechnology and its revolutionary prospects. Selected excerpt: … In what fields would APM cause the most pronounced economic disruption and the collapse of global supply chains to more local chains? The digital revolution had far-reaching effects on information [...]

Synthetic biology industrial revolution inspires hope for molecular manufacturing

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 2nd, 2013

A demonstration that most fundamental biological processes can be implemented in a test tube as efficiently as in live bacteria provides synthetic biology the tools to create a ‘new industrial revolution’, which may or may not lead to more general molecular manufacturing.

Novel silicon nanostructure extends battery life

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 15th, 2012

Templates made from polymer nanofibers enable the formation of long-lived silicon nanostructures that store ten times as much charge as do graphite battery terminals.

Nanosponges to recover spilled oil (includes video)

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 7th, 2012

Doping carbon nanotubes with boron while they are being formed produces a novel molecular architecture formed by boron induced kinks and linkages. These nanosponges can be used repeatedly to absorb and retrieve or burn spilled oil.

Carbon Nanotubes Help Renewable Energy Industry by Improving Wind Turbine Durability

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 16th, 2012

Composites made with small amounts of multi-walled carbon nanotubes improve wind turbine blades by reducing mass while retaining strength.