Friday, November 26, 2010

This week in nanotechnology - November 26, 2010

A breakthrough in a University of Cincinnati engineering lab that could clear the way for a low-cost, even disposable, e-reader is gaining considerable attention. The researchers demonstrated that paper could be used as a flexible host material for an electrowetting device.

Methane-powered laptops may be closer than you think. Making fuel cells practical and affordable will not happen overnight. It may, however, not take much longer. With advances in nanostructured devices, lower operating temperatures, and the use of an abundant fuel source and cheaper materials, a group of researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) are increasingly optimistic about the commercial viability of the technology.

Oxygen rich graphene support could lead to durable fuel cell catalysts. In the search for efficient, durable and commercially viable fuel cells, scientists have discovered a new catalyst-support combination that could make fuel cells more efficient and more resistant to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Platinum nanocatalysts

Platinum nanocatalysts supported on lightly reduced graphene oxide could make fuel cells more stable and resistant to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Emerging applications of carbon nanotubes: Researchers at MIT have published an overview of a variety of applications that are based on the unique properties of pristine as well as functionalized carbon nanotubes.

Success in developing groundbreaking electrolyte materials for solid oxide fuel cells: The Fuel Cell Nano-Materials Group at the International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics in Japan has successfully developed two types of novel materials which satisfy all the three requirements for electrolyte: ion conductivity, chemical stability and sinterability, at high levels.

Ultrathin alternative to silicon for future electronics: Integrating ultra-thin layers of the semiconductor indium arsenide onto a silicon substrate leads to a nanoscale transistor with excellent electronic properties. A member of the III–V family of semiconductors, indium arsenide offers several advantages as an alternative to silicon including superior electron mobility and velocity, which makes it an oustanding candidate for future high-speed, low-power electronic devices.

Researchers are creating a system that harvests heat from an engine's exhaust to generate electricity, reducing a car's fuel consumption. Current thermoelectric technology cannot withstand the temperatures inside catalytic converters, where gases are about 1,000 degrees Celsius, he said. However, researchers also are working on new thermoelectrics capable of withstanding such high temperatures, a step that would enable greater fuel savings.

New YouTube videos explain graphene for the baffled. Two two short videos explain graphene and its amazing properties. The videos show how amazingly graphene can be produced using just a pencil and some sticky tape.