India’s First Nano event at Banglore

December 8th, 2007

The event “Bangalore Nano 2007″ was inaugurated Karnataka Governor Sh. Rameshwar Thakur on 5th December 2007. It is also the India’s firs nano event.

The Karnataka state government is hosting the event with Jawahar Lal Nehru Centre for Advance scientific Research (JNCASR). The Karnatake Government is trying to encourage nano science and nano-technology in the state.

A leading professor & scientist Sh. C.N.R. Rao was also conferred the Nano National Award by the Karnataka governor Sh. Rameshwar Thakur at the event.

Although the nanotechnology industry in generalin India have the shortage of technical expertise, the state of Karnataka have rich talent of young scientists and engineers. The city of Bangalore is also known as silicon city of India is set to become the centre of nanotechnology after being hub of IT and biotechnology.


Nanotech commercialization could suffer

December 5th, 2007

Second annual conference on Nanopolicy sponsored by the Centre on Nanotechnology & Soceity was held in Washington DC on November 30 and it highlighted the lack of information and clarities that could hamper the full swing commercialization of Nanotechnology. There was a consensus among various participants and penalists and all argued that the Federal Government should take more steps to coordinate between various agencies and to ensure that the fund is timely provided.

Various authors and penalists also argued that the nanotech industry is still lacking information about the conditions required to label a product as nanotech. Members at the nanotechnology panel emphasised on various parameters such as morphology, surface area, solubility, particle size and composition of nanoparticles and all these parameters should be considered for labelling a material as nanotech.

As around 70% of nanotechnology at lab scale did not reach the marketplace so there is a need to look into the various factors so that the technology commercialization is increased. The other hindrance factors to the commercialization includes the deficiency in Federal regulation and insufficient federal oversight.


Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. announced $40 million private placement

December 2nd, 2007

Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. is a major provider of nanotechnology based products and technology. The nanotechnology based products and technology are mainly used in industrial aplications, transportation of energy, life science applications and stationary power.

Recently Altair Nanotechnology announces the completion of a purchase agreement of $40 million with Al Youuf LLC. As per the terms and conditions of agreement, Altairnano will issue 11,428,572 shares to Al Yousuf LLC at a price of $3.5 per share. As per the contractual restrictions , no shares can be sold before two years and one third shares each will be released from restrictions at the end of two, three and four years.

According to the President and Chief Executive Officer, Alan J. Gotcher this agreement will enhance the transportation and stationary power markets of Altair Nanotechnology Inc. The contract will further support manufacturing growth, especially advanced power and energy storage products.


Tiny Laser Light-Powered Motor

November 29th, 2007

In a recently published news tiny laser light-powered motor was invented by Japanese scientists. Researchers at the International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan has successfully developed a tiny laser light-powered motor that can be suitable for various medical applications.

The new motor is designed to work in advance areas specifically unsuitable for conventional motors such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) medical scanners. These light-powered motors can withstand high magnetic field.

These tiny laser light-powered motor will reduce the cost of expensive shielding required for the electric motors in various medical and industrial machineries. This is a new area of nanotechnology and it will open many new applications of compact laser light-powered motors.


Environmental and health impact of Nanotechnology

November 26th, 2007

According to a report recently publiched in the Journal of nature Technology, scientists are much more worried about the environmental and health impact of the nanotechnology. Resarchers of University of Wisconsin-Madison and Arizona State University carried out a national telephonic survey in American households including 363 scientists and engineers working in nanotechnology area.

The outcome of the study is the biggest worry as the people are unsure about the health and environmental problems associated with the use of hundreds of products based on this technology. However, the scientists have yet to ascertain the exact health and environmental problems associated with the technology as research has yet to be done.

A large number of technology applications has already been focussed and some of the already built products include golf clus, antimicrobial food storage containers, tennis rakets etc. Although scientists are optimistic about the benefitsof nanotechnology, however many of those are more concerns about environmental and health related problems.


Synthesis of double-walled carbon nanotubes (DWNTs)

November 10th, 2007

There are various synthesis techniques for double-walled carbon nanotubes, however the most common synthesis technique is arc-discharge technique. In this technique double-walled carbon nanotubes are prepared by using an arc in an atmoshphere of hydrogen and argon at 350 torr. Catalyst for synthesis is prepared by heating Ni, Co, Fe and S powders in an inert atmoshphere at 500 degree centigrade.

In the above synthesis technique double-walled carbon nanotubes (DWNTs) is predominantly obtained. These DWNTs have an outer diameter in the range of 1.9 – 5.0 nm and inner diameter in the range of 1.1 – 4.0 nm. Researchers have also synthesized double-walled carbon nanotubes (DWNTs) by hydrogen arc discharge technique using multi-wall carbon nanotubes or carbon nanofibres as feedstcok and found that the double-wall carbon nanotubes thus produced have higher purity than that produced from graphite powders.

High purity double-walled carbon nanotubes (DWNTs) can also be produced by high temperature pulsed arc-discharg technique. The temperature in this technique is kept very high at about 1250 degree centigrade and Y/Ni alloy is used as catalyst. The double-walled carbon nanotubes produced by this technique have an inner and outer diameter in the range of 0.8-1.2 nm and 1.6-2.0 nm respectively.


Use of Nanoionics in Memory Devices

November 7th, 2007

A study conducted jointly by researchers at Arizona SState University’s Centre for Applied Nanoionics and Julich Research Centre in Germany have shown that the memory devices can be improved by the use of nanoionics. The research paper appears in the October issue of the Journal of IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices.

Researcher claimed that the technology is inexpesive and the new technology is made from readily available materials that are compatible with all the memory devices currently available in the market. The new technology is thus available at the same cost as the same material is used in these chips, however at a different concentration.

In traditional electronics devices, electrons are moved in memory devices however in nanoionics, ions are moved around on a chip. The ions are moved between electrodes from a high resistance to a low resistance to achieve better memories and thus the use of nanotechnology boosts the capacity and battery life of various consumer products.


Electronic properties of Carbon Nanotubes

November 4th, 2007

Carbon nanotubes were first produced in the year 1991 and since then various studies has been carried out on these carbon nanotubes. These carbon nanotubes find promising applications in the area of molecular electronics. These now are explored as the building blocks in the fabrication of electronic devices.

The carbon nanotube have especially a molecular level arrangement making these suitable to develop best alternative of silicone based IC at the nanometer scale. These carbon nanotubes are known for the stiffness making these suitable for electronic applications.

In single wall carbon nanotubes at low temperature, the electronic waves may remain extended along the nanotube over several microns. This shows that the motion of electron is quantum mechanical in nature.

Scientists look for the methods of designing nanotechnology devices to tailor the molecular structures to achieve given functionality. Scientists have already explored construction of some of the electronic devices such as diodes, logic circuits, memory elements and transistors.


Use of Carbon Black in Carbon Nanotechnology

November 1st, 2007

Carbon blacks are soot particles produced by pyrolysis of industrial waste and these are recently been studied for various physical parameters. On the basis of a number of factors such as low production cost and purity these carbon blacks can be a starting material for carbon nanotechnology.

One of the major drawback of carbon blacks is its low crystallinity as observed by high resolution transmission electron micrographs (HRTEM) and the carbon blacks are categorised as amorphous carbon. Researchers have produced carbon nano-onions from carbon blacks upon irradiation of electron beam of high current density of 150A/cm square. It has already been observed by the researchers that carbon black samples having low crystallinity fail to form carbon onions.

The nano-onions formed during the process show some of the characteristics. Larger nano-onions formed during the process have comparitively more structural defect than small onions. During the process the outermost graphite layer is mostly removed under electron beam irradiation and the innermost shell look like fullerene.


Electrochemistry of Multi Wall Carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs)

October 29th, 2007

With the discovery of fullerenes, new research areas related to various nanomaterials were explored by the scientists all over the world. After a short span of time, carbon nanotubes including single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and multi wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were synthesized. The applications of these nanomaterials are being explored and research throughout the globe is being carried out.

Multi wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) show high electrical conductivity and excellent mechanical strength. Various scientists have carried out number of studies for measuring CV of the freshly prepared nanotube films. Sometimes  a functional group is also attached to one side of the nanotube film and it enables the quick and easy measurement of the Cv across multi wall carbon nanotubes.

On the basis of high electrical conductivity of these multi wall carbon nanotubes, special materials can be prepared. In general inorganic materials, fullerenes or metals are filled in these carbon nanotubes to form nanoreactors. These additional materials further enhances the electrical properties and therefore find many applications.


Superconductivity and carbon nanotubes

July 25th, 2007

Carbon nanotubes have been examined for a number of properties including semi-conducting properties, when these carbon nanotubes are placed between metallic nonsuper contacts. Several studies have opened the door for using carbon nanotube as testing ground to study conductivity in molecular wires. Various observations indicate that many interesting features arise due to nanoscale size of these carbon nanotubes.

A study carried out by M. Kociak and his team found that the main factor is good quality of contacts produced for the ropes. The carbon nanotube ropes were suspended between Platinum/ gold bilayers and precaution was taken that the bilayer used for the experimental study do not become superconducting at very low temperature. The authors have made a rope of around 350 nanotubes of length of 1 micrometer.

The study has allowed producing devices having a room temperature resistance of few kilo ohms down to a few ohms. Actually the resistance does not completely become zero, however it reaches a minimum value of 74 ohms in the above experimental study. If we carry out the calculation for a metallic nanotube it comes out 6.5-kilo ohm and the value of resistance (74 ohm) as observed in the experiment indicates that the metallic nanotubes in rope contribute to the conduction in super conducting state.


“Green” Packaging with Nanoparticles

July 23rd, 2007

Nanotechnology is being used in the packaging industry as food suppliers are required to use more environmentally friendly plastics for their goods. The quest for green packaging has introduced bioplastics such as PLA, Polylactic acid. Instead of being developed from petroleum like conventional plastics, PLA is developed from corn. Thus, it is biodegradable and consumes less fossil fuel to produce than standard packaging.

However, it is not without its flaws. Specifically, PLA tends to be weaker than its petroleum-based counterpart. Conventional methods to strengthen the PLA have involved a tradeoff. While the package becomes stronger, it loses its transparency. Now nanoparticles are being used to remedy the process.

The nanoparticles that are used do not scatter light. They are added to the PLA and enable it to maintain its transparency while it becomes stronger. Laboratory testing has claimed results of not more than 10 percent haze at 5 percent loading. The material can withstand the rigors of wear and tear while maintaining clarity.

As supermarket chains and other food suppliers attempt to ramp up their compliance with environmental packaging requirements over the next few years, it is expected that nanoparticle-enhanced PLA will become part of the solution.


Self assembly of carbon nanotubes (CNTs)

July 22nd, 2007

Modified carbon nanotubes have been prepared by chemical and non-covalently modified methods. This modification significantly improves their physicochemical properties and it provides the efficient incorporation of modified carbon nanotubes into various devices. Actually an aligned micro patterned form of carbon nanotubes as highly desirable for device applications.

Only a few carbon nanotubes have so far been functionalized on certain pre-treated substrates. Researchers have prepared aligned single wall carbon nanotubes by self assembling of nanotubes functionalized with thiol group on a gold substrate. In this work Liu and his team prepaed carbonyl terminated short SWNTs (single wall carbon nanotubes) by acid oxidation. These wee later functionalized with thiol containing alkyl amine. Self assembly of these single wall carbon nanotubes was carried out by dipping gold ball in thiol functionalized SWNT in ethanol. The whole process was followed by ultrasonication and drying in high purity nitrogen.

In a recent study micro contact printing technique was used to pep pattern the thiol self assembled monolayer on the gold surface. Nan and is research team has found that acid oxidized single wall carbon nanotubes can be deposited on a pretreated gold substrate through an amide linkage.


Nanotechnology Boosts Electron Microscope Demand

July 20th, 2007

Nanotechnology is boosting demand for electronic microscopes, with projected revenues expected to go to $3.54 billion by 2013. This is an increase from $1.87 billion in 2006.

The biomedical research field includes genome research and continues to benefit from sustained investment dollars; thus there is an increasing demand for electron and scanning microscopes. These microscopes are becoming more sophisticated, equipped with software that enables them to better integrate with Nanotechnology-related functions

Semiconductors continue to get smaller and smaller, making it necessary for manufacturers to use the most advanced equipment to inspect the product on the assembly line. Nanotechnology can work on that small level of detail, and advanced microscopes are needed to carry out the operation.

However, limited end users’ technical expertise requires that these microscopes be easy to use. Vendors will also need to develop software for the microscopes that enable them to integrate with other instruments.


Health Hazard Associated With Nanotech

July 19th, 2007

Actually there are a number of concerns about the safe use of nanoparticles and in reality it is still mystery. The health hazard associated with nanotechnology is being examined and investigated at various research centers. In one of the government blog, the nanoparticles can become toxic after reacting with human tissues.

Although there are no supportive evidence of such concerns, however it is more logical that nanosized particles being macroscopic in nature tend to react more readily with human tissues. Actually if we look into the nature we may find many nanoparticles such as nanoparticles produced by the car tire, however the focus is here the man’s intention to produce such particles for various applications.

Although prima facie, it looks like that the concerns are reasonable and more studies on toxicology needs to be carried out. Both government agencies and industries should focus on the issue and should try to understand the health aspect associated with the technology.


Build Muscles with Nanotechnology

July 17th, 2007

Scientists have long known that carbon nanotubes possess unique properties which make them suitable for various applications. Now they are discovering another unique characteristic of the nanotubes: they are spongy, or elastic, making them potentially useful in delivering added strength for artificial muscles.

The key in developing artificial muscles is to develop motion that is as smooth and fluid as possible. Present technology uses electroactive polymers (EAPs) that change shape in response to electrical or chemical stimuli. The downside of the current technology is that it’s not sturdy and can soon fail from overuse. Researchers have discovered that carbon nanotubes may just be the solution to toughening up the artificial muscles.

Laboratory tests of the nanotubes involved subjecting them to over 500,000 compressions of the nanotubes between steel plates. The results were astonishing. Even after 500,000 compressions that reduced the nanotubes to 75 percent of their length, they kept springing back to near original form. Researchers note that the results applied only to blocks of nanotubes and not individual samples. The durability of the nanotube blocks is found to be comparable to that of human muscles, which retain their original form even after many contractions. Scientists are now combining nanotubes with the EAPs in order to discover the ideal solution for creating artificial muscles that will not fatigue over time.


Epoxy Nanocomposites

July 16th, 2007

In site polymerization was the first method used for synthesizing polymer clay nanocomposites and nylon was first produced. Although there are various methods of preparation of nanocomposites, the two are more common. In one, the epoxy monomer reacts with clay and subsequently; the curing agent is mixed and in another epoxy and curing agents is added simultaneously. Both these reactions are two stages and depending upon the type of polymer, polymerization is carried out by adding free radicals or an increase in temperature.

Thermal stability is one of the critical limitations of these epoxy nanocomposites. Researchers carried out experiments on these composites and analyzed the volatile materials. In the range of 200 and 500 degree centigrade, long chain alkyl fragments are detected. FTIR study on the nanocomposite samples before and after test at 1 hr at 400C showed no degradation.

Researchers also studied the mechanical properties of the epoxy nanocomposites and it was found that mechanical properties reported include increased in modulus, retention or minor loss in tensile strength and loss of strain to failure.

 In conclusion, we can say that the methods of preparation of epoxy nanocomposites are the prime factors responsible for various mechanical and thermal properties. The pH and critical concentration of clay also play an important role. It is possible to obtain significant improvement in modulus, however decreased strain of failure is a factor in current epoxy nanocomposite and is being investigated by the researchers.


Nanotechnology Substitutes for Chemicals

July 14th, 2007

A European report is considering the ways in which Nanotechnology can be used to develop substitutes for hazardous chemicals. This aspect of Nanotechnology research is long overdue, as “green” Nanotechnology has typically focused on cleaning up chemical pollution, not eliminating it to begin with. Already however the technology is being exploited commercially to do just that, such as in the case of coatings. Coatings for ship hulls usually use chemicals to prevent bacterial adhesion. However, the same results were accomplished without chemical coatings, by using nanoparticles to fabricate the ship’s hull in a way to repel the bacteria.

Other applications exist as well. In the domain of flame retardants, for example, nanoparticles can replace the existing Bromine that is used as the principal element in the retardant and which functions by consuming oxygen. Nanoparticles can achieve the same effect using the right elements to create an oxide layer.

Volatile Organic Compounds, which are toxic and common by products in many commercial applications, is another example. While Nanotechnology cannot directly replace the VOCs, they can be involved in their manufacture in such a way as to render them harmless.

Soldering is another example; this is a common bonding process that uses lead and tin, which are known to be toxic. Nanoparticles can serve as substitutes and provide an alternative filler type glue that is clean and environmentally friendly.

The European project exploring these substitutions points out an important detail: nanoparticles themselves can be toxic. Thus, it is important to balance the potential pros gained from substitution to the cons of potential toxic side effects from the nanoparticles. The report concludes that direct and complete substitution of nanoparticles for existing processes will not always be practicable, but incremental improvements, at the very least, will still be feasible.


Use of nanocrystals in fuel cells

July 13th, 2007

Fuel cells use the combination of a fuel and antioxidant. Fuel cells can have various types of fuels such as hydrocarbon, hydrogen etc and oxidant such as oxygen, air, and chlorine dioxide.

There are various types of fuel cells and the most common fuel cells include metal hydride fuel cell, electro galvanic fuel cell, direct methanol fuel cell, reformed methanol fuel cell, proton exchange membrane fuel cells, phosphoric acid fuel cell and solid oxide fuel cell.

In a typical hydrogen fuel cells, hydrogen and oxygen from air reacts to form energy. In this reaction a lot of energy is released leaving behind the combustion product water. As there are no harmful gases released from these fuel cells, these are the best fuel for new generation passenger cars and other vehicles.

The present fuel cells runs at very high temperature and in certain cases the temperature go up to 1000 degree Celsius and therefore the high temperature quickly wears out the metallic and other ceramic components. Further to this the current fuel cells also require platinum metal.

In a new approach, nanocrystals of lubic zirconia have been found more reliable in hydrogen fuel cells and at the same time as these will replace the high costly ingredients of fuel cells, the overall cost of the fuel cell will reduce significantly. The research team led by Zuhair Munir, professor of chemical engineering and material science at UC Davis has recently won the Nanotech Briefes Magazine’s Nano 50 award for 2007 for this invention. 


Nanotechnology Cleans Up the Atmosphere

July 11th, 2007

With all of the emphasis on the possible toxic effects of industrialized CO2 emissions, Nanotechnology is delivering solutions that enable businesses to create a cleaner environment. Nano-enabled devices will be able to detect and remove pollutants in the atmosphere, measured in the neighborhood of 3 parts per million. These pollutants not only include CO but also NO, NO2 and O3 as well.

One major contributor to CO2 emissions is electrical power plants which use goal and gas and emit carbon dioxide byproducts. Traditional ideas of cleaning up the CO2 emissions have included concepts such as sequestration, where the gas is literally quarantined away from the atmosphere. However, Nanotechnology proposes a bolder and more elegant solution: simply clean up the CO2 by converting it into carbon nanotubes

This is still a highly speculative idea, but current measurements are that the power needed to accomplish this would be minimal by comparison to other methods considered. Further, once converted, carbon nanotubes could be deposited into landfills or be exploited for engineering projects.

Nanotechnology can clean up the air indoors as well, by targeting Volcanic Organic Compounds. These VOCs are airborne pollutants found in a variety of commercial products and materials and can cause a myriad of ailments. Researchers have found, however, that a coating of manganese oxide nanofiber or nanocrystal catalysts is sufficient to filter out the VOCs from the air, rendering it clean and healthful once again.


Future prospects for nanotube applications in high integrated circuits

July 10th, 2007

Carbon nanotubes since their discovery are used as the building blocks in various nanotechnology applications. Although many applications are at preliminary stages of experimentation, carbon nanotubes has many future prospects in almost all spheres of electronics applications.

Highly integrated circuit is one of the areas, where many researchers are focusing the research and electronic properties of carbon nanotubes are being exploited. Researchers have identified and fabricated the electronic devices having densities ten thousand times greater than the present day microelectronics. These technologies will either complement or replace the CMOS.

Further the electronic devices based on carbon nanotubes have additional and advance features such as conductivity, current carrying capacity and electromigration. Semi conducting carbon nanotubes having excellent nobilities and semiconductancies have been prepared and these are far better than the conventional semi conductors.

Actually there are some major barriers for developing highly integrated circuits such as present fabrication methods produces the mixture of metallic and semiconductor nanotubes and exact electronic arrangements within a semiconductor nanoube is poorly understood.

These are therefore the hurdles in manufacturing and fabricating highly integrating circuits, however continuous research in this area will lead to new and much more advance technology that will not only able to overcome from these barriers but will also open the door for new electronic applications also.


Nanotechnology and Neural Interfaces

July 8th, 2007

Nanotechnology is making inroads into a new technology known as neuroprosthetics, enabling Nano-devices to repair impaired nervous systems in the brain. Currently, some devices—known as neural interfaces—exist to help coordinate motor control with thought processes. Early adopters of the technology include the military but the full blown application could include help for disabled people as well.

European researchers have already built neuron interfaces using single-walled carbon nanotubes. These nanotubes are especially suited for these applications because of their electrical and chemical properties. Devices using the nanotubes have been developed to stimulate brain activity, and could lead to applications such as brain implants for people with Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy, among others. Further, visually impaired people could benefit from an application that uses a digital camera and a retinal implant to transmit images to the patient.

Mathematical models have been developed to show how neurons and the carbon nanotubes integrate together. Some preliminary work has been done using cultured rat hippocampal cells on films on carbon nanotubes to promote neuronal growth. Results reveal a tight coupling between neurons and the carbon nanotubes, giving researchers a more precise understanding of how to design devices that exploit that full potential of neural interfaces.

Ultimately, researchers believe it will be possible to repair lost neural functions using nano enabled micro devices. Continuing research in the precise interaction between synaptic brain activity and carbon nano devices could lead to commercial brain pacemakers to alleviate a variety of neurological disorders.


Speeding up DNA sequencing

July 7th, 2007

The principles of classical hydrodynamics are now being examined for speeding up the DNA sequencing and that will automatically reduce the overall cost of sequencing. The process of sequencing uses a nanopore through which DNA moves and by the technique individual DNA molecule is detected, however as the movement of DNA molecule is so fast that at present it is impossible to read the individual bases or letter A, T, G and C. These letters are genome alphabets and represent the base nucleotide of DNA molecule.

At present the cost of sequencing is very high and The National Institute of Health would like to bring down the cost to $1000 by the year 2014. It is a challenging job for scientists and researchers as lot of hurdles are there in the way and lots of efforts will require achieving it. The first complete genome containing 3 billion base pairs of Noble Laureate James D. Watson cost $ 1 million and it two months.

The associate professor of mechanical engineering in North western’s McCormick school of engineering and applied science, Sandeep Ghosal applied first time classical hydrodynamics and published his finding in Journal Physical Review Letters (PRL) of June 8 issue. He claimed that by applying an electric force the DNA is pulled, however a resistive force also acts simultaneously. DNA pulls some fluid from the surrounding however the internal forces in the surrounding fluid layer creates resistance and he calculated all the mathematical details of interaction of DNA with nanopore.


Company Uses Nanotechnology To Kill Germs

July 5th, 2007

Nanotechnology has delivered many applications in the field of health and medicine: now a company has claimed to use it to kill viral germs. The ability to combat germs is of course paramount in importance for protecting the public’s health. Improper hygiene can lead to viral strains such as Norovius and Staphylococcus aureus. Norovius is a highly contagious virus that can cause severe gastrointestinal illness. Staphylococcus aureus is a staph infection that can cause illnesses ranging from skin infections to pneumonia and other more serious conditions. Even worse, isolates of the strain, known as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, can be resistant to all known forms of penicillin and can persist on skin surfaces for days on end according to environmental condition.

Chlorine based disinfectants are the standard arsenal of cleansing agents used to combat these viral strains, but these disinfectants provide temporary results. Seeing a need, a company has used Nanotechnology to solve the problem. AirTech Solutions 4U created a solution with Nanotechnology particles layered onto to the disinfectant, rendering the product effective for longer periods of time. The solution uses water as its delivery mechanism and uses Nano-sized robots to stay on the surface and kill the virus molecules.

Tests with the Nanotechnology based product have already been successfully conducted by measuring the light value of the bacterial molecules, before and after application. The results are promising and ensure that continued research in this Nanotechnology based solution will deliver comparable products in the future, and hopefully render these contagious viral strains a thing of the past.


Functionalized Gold Nanoparticles for Cancer Cure

July 4th, 2007

A new functionalized gold nanoparticles has been designed at the University of Michigan. Researchers James Baker and his team has successfully branched a polymer called dendrimers to the gold nanoparticles that can not only target and kill tumor but it can really be helpful infighting cancer.

Actually it involves a complex process and a gold nanoparticle is especially engineered that it cant only identify, target and kill tumor but to carry the additional drug to slow down the growth of cancer cells or kill the cancer cells. Actually the dendrimers acts as an arm to the gold nanoparticle so that different molecules are attached to the arms. Once the cancer cells are surrounded by gold nanoparticles, lasers or infrared light heats the gold particles so that the dendrimers releases the various molecules to kill tumors.

The research carried out by researchers in laboratory was hybrid nanoparticle. Gold dendrimers contains four or five folic acid and fluorescent dye on each branch of the dendrimer and thereafter the excess charge from the gold nanoparticle was removed. The finding of the research is published in the July issue of Small and detailed demonstration of targeting and imaging cancer cells has been explained.


Nanowires and Transistors

July 1st, 2007

Researchers have successfully created transistors using nano-wires, creating flexible electronics at the Nano level that open the door for a whole host of commercial applications.

The transistors are made of transparent nanowires built on glass or plastic films. Both the nanowires and the films are transparent; this differs from prior implementations of nano-transistors, where the electrodes used were non-transparent, and the final structure was opaque in color.

The commercial implications of the current breakthrough include applications such as malleable computer displays, e-paper, smart credit cards and windshields, to name just a few. E-paper can provide full motion video, without the need for electrical current to backlit the display, as would be the case with conventional flat-panel displays. Electronic displays on windshields, eyeglasses and sports goggles can provide real time information while tracking events in progress.

The smart credit cards created using the Nano transistors would contain embedded microprocessors and make it possible to provide encrypted information that secures transactions made against the card, as well providing for more robust identification for users.

Importantly, these nanowire enabled transistors continue to deliver high performance levels while remaining flexible. The transparent transistors can be manufactured at low cost and can conduct electricity at speeds comparable to those found in consumer electronics.


Arc process for preparation of Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWNTs)

July 1st, 2007

A convenient and more appropriate method of preparing carbon nanotubes is by using an arc between high purity graphite electrodes at around 0.7 atmospheric pressure of helium. A high current in the range of 60-100 ampere and a potential drop of about 25 volts produces high yields of carbon nanotubes. The process is done in such a way so that the carbon electrodes (anode) get deposited at the cathode as carbon nanotubes with graphite nanoparticles.

Researchers have carried out the experiment in presence of various other gases such as He, Ar, methane and hydrogen. It has been observed that a few gases produce multi-walled carbon nanotubes of superior crystallinity. Various researchers are successful in producing large quantities of carbon nanotubes by using latest techniques such as plasma arc-jets after optimizing quenching between graphite anode and cooled copper cathode. If we use both graphite electrodes, we get the multi-walled carbon nanotubesas the main product along with fullerene.

A few researchers have also studied the arc discharge in liquid nitrogen and found that the process is able to produce high crystalline multi-walled carbon nanotubes. The electrode assembly chosen by the scientists is both anode and cathode as carbon rods and after immersing the electrode in liquid nitrogen an electric current of 80 A was passed between the electrodes kept at 1 mm apart. By this process the yield of multi-walled carbon nanotubes was reported very high and even in some cases the yield was up to 70 percent.

Although chemical vapor decomposition process, which is another noble process for manufacturing carbon nanotubes, the convenient arc process is widely studied by researchers. This process is very effective for producing both single wall carbon nanotubes and multiple wall carbon nanotubes.


$17 Billion fund by Russian Billionaire:

June 28th, 2007

Recently a Russian billionaire Mr. Mikhail Prokhonov, a 42 year old former top executive of Norilsk Nickel has launched a $17 billion private investment fund in Onexim group. From this huge investment, the Onexim group will almost double its current production activities in various fields i.e. energy, mining and nanotechnology projects.

Mr. Mikhail prokhonov is said to be splitting from its current business partner in Norilsk nickel, Mr Vladimir Potanin and will concentrate on various project activities of Onexim group in Russia. He will be the President of the Onexim group and his former colleague at Norlisk Nickel, Mr. Razumov a 32 year young executive will be the new general director of the group.

Mr. Mikhail Prokhorov had 22 percent stake in Norilsk and Polyus Gold, Russian largest gold miners and 50 percent stake in Interros banking and Industrial group and both these stakes has been utilized for creating Onexim group. A keen interest taker in nanotechnology and other modern scientific subjects, Mr. Prokhorov has many ambitious future plans for this group and he expects that the assets of the group will rise to $30 billion in the next five years.


32nd International Conference on Advanced Ceramics and Composites (ICACC)

June 24th, 2007

The American Chemical Society (A Cer S) is planning to host 32 International Conference and Exposition advanced Ceramics and composites including nanotechnology, fuel cells, and ceramic armor in Hilton Daytona Beach Resort and ocean Center during Jan 27 to Feb 1, 2008. The conference will jointly hosted by American Chemical Society (A Cer S) and Engineering Ceramics and Basic Science Division of the society. Conference provides the opportunity to present the latest research work in advanced ceramics, fuel cell, ceramic armor and nanotechnology.

The conference will provide an unique opportunity not only to present the paper at conference but it will also provide an opportunity to interact with other scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and exhibitors. The conference includes total 11 symposia themes and two focused sessions and some of the themes includes nanostructured materials and nanotechnology: development and application, next generation bioceramics, solid state fuel cells (SOFC): material science and technology, ceramic armor, mechanical behavior and structural design of monolithic and composite ceramics, advanced ceramic coatings for structural, environmental and functional applications, science of ceramic interfaces, porous ceramics: novel developments and applications. 

Individuals interested to participate in this event are invited to submit the abstract of their research paper before July 16, 2007 to the conference organizer. The details of the abstract format and other details related to the conference are available at the ceramics.org website.


Nanobiotechnology-based Solutions for Cancer Patients

June 22nd, 2007

A breakthrough in Nanobiotechnology has enabled scientists to create a glass chip that can detect fluctuations in the chromosomes in cancer patients. Chromosome fluctuations may mean deterioration in a patient’s condition. The practical effect of this invention which can detect such fluctuations is that doctors can track the progress of cancer patients more closely and modify their treatments as needed.

Conventional treatments to monitor chromosome fluctuations already exist, but they have their limitations. One such solution is called “FISH”, which stands for fluorescent in situ hybridization and involves attaching colored dyes to the chromosomes to monitor them. This conventional approach however is time consuming and expensive. It can take days before the results are known, and most of the tests are conducted in labs.

The Nanotechnology based solution, however, called “FISH on a chip,” is more cost effective and can produce results in hours, as opposed to the days it takes for the conventional treatment. For cancer patients, time is of the essence in getting the correct prognosis. By monitoring the chromosomes, doctors will be able to quickly ascertain if cancer is returning after remission. Treatments can be administered in various areas as well, including outlying rural areas where access to medical care would normally be limited.

The researchers will publish their findings in this month’s issue of the journal Nanobiotechnology.


Carbon Nanotube Fillings

June 21st, 2007

Liquid or molten solids fill a porous structure of carbon nanotubes that act as capillary by capillary effects. Researchers first examined the inner structure of carbon nanotubes through computer simulation and later Ajayan and Iijima reported it that molten lead can be trapped inside the channels of Multi wall nanotubes (MWNTs). Thereafter various researchers carried out further encapsulation of various metal compounds in single wall nanotubes (SWNTs) and later the discovery of peapods open up new-diamensions.

Before capillary filling, the surface of carbon nanotube is wetted by foreign liquid having low surface tension. High surface tension material then can be filled in the carbon nanotube by chemical filling routes. Generally two methods wet chemistry solution method and molten method for chemical fillings is adopted.  Filling in carbon nanotube is one of the effective tool for building nanodevices, nanorods, nanowires, nanocomposites etc.

Many researchers also carried out chemical reactions inside the capillary so that specific properties of the nanomaterial are modified. The capillary filling of the carbon nanotube is diameter dependant and both the chemical filling route have a common drawback of low filling effectiveness. Luzzi and his team in 1998 reported the existence of peapod chains. These peapods are formed by encapsulation of fullerene in single wall carbon nanotubes (SWNT).

Researchers found that peapods deform in the presence of electron beam irradiation in electron microscope. Encapsulation of fullerene in single wall carbon nanotubes modifies the local electronic structure of both carbon nanotube and fullerene. This capillary acts as a hybrid material having extraordinary properties.


Nanosensors in Space

June 20th, 2007

Nanotechnology has made the leap from the super small to the super large, as NASA recently announced the successful orbit of the first Nanotechnology-based device, a nanosensor on the payload of midSTAR-1 satellite on May 24. This device, dubbed the Nano ChemSensor Unit, successfully monitored gases inside the spaceship, paving the way for more durable smoke detectors that can withstand the rigors of outer space.

Some of these rigors include gravity fluctuations and the vibrations that take place during launch, in addition to cosmic rays and heat. In addition, a functional nanosensor could provide added insurance by providing detection against possible contamination of a crew’s air supply.

The nanosensors were made of carbon nanotubes coated with sensing materials; the types of materials used match the kind of chemicals scientists want to detect. Nitrogen gas was added in the mix with the chemicals, and as various chemicals made contact with the sensor, there registered a corresponding decrease or increase in electrical fluctuations. The chip used consisted of 34 nanosensors and proves to be less costly and more reliable than other comparable devices. Nanosensor devices of this sort have already been built to detect a variety of compounds and gases, and NASA’s successful space test will ensure that more research will be done to develop sensors that make space flight safer than ever before.


Improving Nanotube Florescence

June 18th, 2007

It has already been discovered that some of the nanotubes are fluorescent. These tiny tubes are fabricated from carbon atoms and glow when light falls on these nanotubes.

Some of the nanotubes have fluorescent spots and some might glow all over. Researchers at VINSE (Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering) have published a research paper in the Journal of American Chemical Society where a fabrication claim of achieving highly fluorescent nanotubes has been discussed. Fluorescent nanotubes has distinct features that can be used for applications including medical applications.

Quantitative efficiency is a major characteristic of any fluorescent material and it is defined as the ratio of no of photons it emits to the number of photons it absorbs. The application of a fluorescent nanotubes depends on various properties including quantum efficiency. Scientists are now able to produce the nanotube that has quantum efficiency of 1 percent and it is hundred times better than the previously fabricated nanotube.

Tobias Hertel, the associate professor of physics who lead the research, expected to get five time boost in quantum efficiency, however the results were surprising and he and his team noticed that the quantum efficiency is improved by 100 times. Herter and his team were successful in separating fluorescent nanotubes from others from the nanotube soot. The nanotube soot was mixed with special soap and after dissolving in water, it was passed through ultracentrifuge for a few times and the upper most layer, a purple layer contained high population of brightest nanotube.


Nanotechnology and Cleaning Up the Environment

June 17th, 2007

Many people are concerned about the impact of Nanotechnology in the environment, specifically the toxic effects of nanoparticles as they are leeched into soil or water. However, curiously enough, researchers have discovered that these nanoparticles are automatically cleaned up by the adverse reaction of microbial proteins to the nanoparticles. It turns out that microbial protein tends to cause toxic nanoparticles to aggregate. The bacteria immobilize the nanoparticles and their constituent metals in order to protect the bacteria from potentially toxic effects.

The discovery was made by observing bacteria from an abandoned mine. It was found these bacteria produced protein that caused the metallic nanoparticles to aggregate. Without aggregation, nanoparticle metal byproducts such as zinc could easily move about and potentially dissolve once again if conditions were optimal. However, aggregation binds the nanoparticles and prevents this from happening. The benefit to the bacteria is that aggregation shifts the nanoparticles safely away from the cells.

Researchers also discovered that different kinds of amino acids also contribute to this aggregation effect. Cysteine, a protein building amino acid, caused extensive and longer lasting aggregation of nanoparticles. Organic nitrogen also had a powerful effect.

The implications for environmental clean up are clear. Cysteine and other proteins could be used to induce this Nanotechnology enabled cleanup of the water and the environment in general. What was done in a small scale in the lab can be expanded to a larger scale and improve water quality.


Carbon Nanotube Membrane for controlled transportation

June 15th, 2007

Various researchers have already studied fluid flow in micrometer level carbon nanotube channels. These open-ended carbon nanotube offer various possibilities as conduits for flow especially for low surface tension fluid as these nanomaterials have excellent rigid cylindrical pores. Selected microfabrication technique can enhance the possibilities for development of various small-scale-devices. These small-scale devices or lab-on-a-chip can play a key role in chemical analysis or synthesis.

Actually modifying their surfaces, scientists can enhance the molecular selectivity of carbon nanotubes. Researchers has already established various applications of nanotubes or nanopores such as molecule detection, storage and delivery of encapsulation media, biocatalysis, biomolecule separation devices and for selective and rapidgas flow. Researchers have studied and fabricated a well-ordered membrane structure by aligning array of carbon nanotubes impregnated in polystyrene matrix.

The open tips of carbon nanotube in the membrane structure are attached with carboxylate that can be easily functionalized. This functionalization especially with a bulky receptor can subsequently be used to open or close the pore. Thus the membrane structure is suitable for the gas flow or ionic transport. Recently researchers have fabricated functionalized carbon nanotube at the end and its application as ionic transport has been achieved. Researchers could achieve this by releasing receptor in controlled fashion.

Scientists have also developed an inner-coated carbon nanotube. Here the inside walls of carbon nanotubes within the carbon nanotube membrane contains the redox-active polymer film. The specifically selected polymer film can be reversibly switched electrochemically and therefore it controls both the directionand magnitude of electroosmotic flow through carbon nanotube membrane.


Nanotechnology and Self Healing Mechanisms

June 14th, 2007

Researchers in Nanotechnology are one step closer to creating so-called “self healing” mechanisms, using particles known as nanocontainers to produce the desired results. These nanocontainers can release active materials that can effect repairs on exteriors, paving the way for the development of products such as self-repairing coatings for use in automotive and other industries.

These coatings contain both active and passive properties. The passive properties come from so-called matrix material, while the active properties stem from the ability of the coating to respond to changes in the external environment or changes in the passive material. The coatings will then release the active material which will effect repairs to the coating.

This nanocontainer approach is only the most recent of several “smart” coating technologies. However, prior approaches involved mixing the passive and active material in alternating layers. This approach suffers from significant defects, such as the propensity of leakage from the active material into the passive layer.

The nanocontainers are much more stable, by contrast; they are basically flexible shell structures that hold the active material, such as a lubricant, and keep it securely away from the passive matrix thus eliminating the possibility of leakage. Environmental impact or other significant external stress will trigger a release of the active material.

Researchers envision short-term applications such as self-repairing anticorrosion lubricants in automobiles. These composite coatings can effect repairs in cracks on the surface material. The trigger for these kinds of active agents to be released would be the onset of corrosion. This is only one of several possible applications. Continuing research into nanocontainers will need to be explored before the technology can be exploited to its fullest.


Mesoporous silica nanoparticle can be used for delivering hydrophobic anticancer drugs

June 12th, 2007

The solubility of anticancer drug in water is one of the major problems and almost all major anticancer drugs are hydrophobic. Cancer therapy requires addition of solvents so that the cancer cells easily absorb these anticancer drugs. The main disadvantage of using these solvents is that these reduce the potency of the anticancer drugs as well these are toxic and can have side effects.

At present the major cancer therapies includes CPT or Taxol. Camptothecin is also known as CPT and its derivatives are most effective for treating various carcinomas such as colon, bladder, neck, stomach etc. CPT requires its mixing with organic solvents so that it can be delivered to the cancer cells.

Researcher’s at ULCA California Nanosystem Institute have carried out a study using silica based nanoparticle to deliver anticancer drug camptothecin in cancer cells and found that these can be delivered directly to the desired places without adding diluents to the drug. The research is useful and it promises an answer to the tough challenge of delivering anticancer drugs.

Researcher’s developed a useful method and they incorporated the water insoluble anticancer drug into the nanomaterial pores. These pores of especially mesoporous silica nanoparticle are able to hold and deliver the drug at the various human cancer cells. The excellent outcome of the study suggests that these mesoporous silica nanoparticles are the best options before us for delivering anticancer drug or any other hydrophobic drug.


Nanotechnology and Sun Screens

June 11th, 2007

Sunscreens on the market today employ either zinc oxide or titanium oxide to create a barrier of protection against the sun’s harsh rays. This is to protect against sun cancer, although to date there is no concrete evidence that sunscreens prevent skin cancer.

The two most common kinds of skin cancers are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Basal cell carcinoma is characterized by a tumor or abnormal growth in the basal cells, the lowest region of the epidermis. This form of cancer can be treated easily when detected soon enough. Squamous cell carcinoma is another more common form of skin cancer, and it affects the upper layer of the skin. People who spend a lot of time in the sun are at risk for either of these diseases, and so resort to sun screens in the hopes of getting protection. Unfortunately, sun screens have the side effect of creating an ungainly white tinge on the skin, and this is where Nanotechnology comes in.

Nanotechnology is seen as an aid in developing sun screens that do not create the familiar white tinge so common to sun screen lotions. Zinc Oxide (ZnO) and titanium dioxide (TiO2) are the substances in sunscreen most responsible for creating this undesirable tinge. By using nanoparticle equivalents for these two substances, the lotion becomes less visible. Unfortunately, there are potentially hazardous side effects from using these nanoparticles, which are still being researched.

Current research suggests that the nanoparticles in the sun screens can cause the creation of free radicals. Other studies suggest this is not a risk factor so long as the nanoparticles do not penetrate too deeply to reach the living cells. The bulk of the data seem to indicate the current screens using the nanoparticles remain on the surface of the skin cells and do not penetrate too deeply. As with all things Nanotechnology, it’s still too soon to make any definite determination and further research will be needed.

Unfortunately, in the United States sun screen manufacturers are not under stringent labeling requirements for their products, and so it is difficult to tell how much of the lotion is constituted by nanoparticles. Consumers will have to become informed and exercise diligence as they decide to spend longer hours in the sun.


Bionanotechnology in diagnosis of infectious agents

June 9th, 2007

One of the possible applications of bionanotechnology is timely diagnosis of various diseases. Many infectious agents such as SARS, dengue, Asian flue etc spread out very fast and cause epidemic outbreaks with a very high death rate. Therefore there is a great potential to use nanotechnology for diagnosing infectious agents.

Using nanolithography, antibodies could be localized in an exact place or spot, however nonspecific background binding of the proteins and detection sensitivity is the major problem associated with this technique. Nanotechnology therefore helps in providing the technique that is capable to identify and detect a single viral particle. The high sensitivity is needed as even a very few 5-10 viral particles of HIV can infect the other person.

It is also necessary to identify the antibodies quickly as some of these infectious agents are quite stable as well as some of the infectious agents are aggressive and these could be easily transmitted in trace amounts. Some of the infectious agents such as prions and infectious amyloidoses could be transmitted on fento molar concentration level. Therefore, diagnosis capable to identify and diagnose these infectious agents is extremely important and bionanotechnology helps us in early diagnosis of these infectious agents.


Nanotechnology in Antiviral Therapies

June 8th, 2007

A new report by Research and Markets, “Antiviral Therapeutics – technologies, markets and companies,” delivers an in-depth discussion of antiviral technologies, including the impact of Nanotechnology in antiviral delivery mechanisms.

The report discusses the use of NanoViricides. These are what are known as polymeric micelles, nano-sized polymer structures that convey medicine in the bloodstream in a time-release fashion. In addition to delivering vaccines they can target and destroy viruses as well. These polymeric micelles are more effective than oral intake of medicines for a number of reasons. They can allow for an increase in the dosage of drugs that are poorly water soluble.

NanoViricides can withstand any of the body’s host defenses, which would normally render medicine ineffectual in some patients. Thus, the polymeric micelles can provide a more concentrated and focused delivery of antiviral medicine. The report presents a comparison of these types of delivery mechanisms against other types of antiviral therapies as well.

The report points out that resistance to anti-influenza therapies can develop and therefore there is a need for increased research in these areas. Some of the more speculative possibilities being discussed aim to block the virus before it fuses with the cell structure. Nanotechnology will no doubt be involved at this level as an enabling mechanism. Hepatitis, Herpes, HIV/AIDS viruses are discussed in the report, along with an optimistic prognosis for more effective treatment and ultimately cure. An abstract of the report can be read at http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reportinfo.asp?report_id=471561.


Harvard Nanotechnology Patents to Nano-Terra

June 6th, 2007

Professor George M. Whitesides, a renowned technology specialist and a chemist at Harvard University is the cofounder of Nano-Terra Inc. There are a number of patents that have been generated during the last 25 years based on the work that has been continously going forward in Professor’s lab.

In recent news, Harvard and Nano-Terra Inc. plan to announce exclusively licensing of 50 current or pending Harvard patents to Nano-Terra. With the transfer of these patents, Nano-Terra Inc. will become one of the Nanotechnology’s fast start-up. The representative of Nano-Terra based in Cambridge, have said that the patent filing and maintenance costs alone top $ 2 million.

Nano-Terra at present do not sell any products, however it offer manufacturing and design skills especially where low cost or flexibility are most crucial. Although, the terms and conditions of the deal are not disclosed, however Harvard is expected to receive equity in Nano-Terra in addition to royalties.

The patents are generally related to nonbiological applications. These were the results of the work done by Professor Whitesides and his doctoral students during the last decade and best-known patents include soft lithography. Professor Whitesides has developed methods of depositing thin metallic layer onto surfaces and in designed patterns. Soft lithography has a potential to replace photolithography (process for making microchips) on highly irregular and rounded surface where photolithography is practically impossible.


Nanotechnology Used in Dental Implants

June 5th, 2007

Nanotechnology is being used in dental implants as a way to reduce the healing time and improve osseointegration. This is the technical term that describes how well a living bone bonds with an artificial plant, such as those used in dentistry. Currently Nanotechnology-based dental implants are in use by a number of dental implant manufacturers, but only a few of them were recognized by dentists as being Nanotechnology enhanced implants.

As stated, the dental implants that use Nanotechnology are clearly superior in reducing the time frame for osseointegration to occur. The only problem with the implants however is that they are currently too expensive for mass adoption. Therefore dentists who use them may, at the present, be passing on the added expense to the patients.

These and other results have been published in the US Markets for Dental Implants 2007 report. It includes coverage of several major manufacturers that produce these kinds of implants as well dental implant survey results.


Drug release through Nano bubble

June 3rd, 2007

Stents are the medical devices or medical implants used for various medical purposes including preventing accumulation of cholesterol in arteries. These devices therefore are necessary for certain patients suffering from heart related problems and with the use of these implants, surgeries in certain cases can be prevented. The major problem with these stents is that their biocompatibility.

Stents or vascular stents are generally made up off metal or plastic material and it acts as a small tube that reinforces the wall of specific organ if implanted there in the specific organ. Since their use, the compatibility of stents with human tissues in nearly one third patients reacts to it causing shut down of the vassel.

During the last two decades, the coated vascular stents were developed. After coating the stents with differents substances it was expected that these stents will bring down the rejections. More and more coated stents were produced and used especially for treating coronary heart disease. Sometimes drug releasing stents are most important for treating diabetes and till now these coated vascular stents are being used for various purposes.

The Forschungszentrum Dressler- Rossendorf (FZD) developed a new nano-porous stent that have millions of nano bubbles under the surface of stent. These stents are superior than the conventional stents as through these stents the drug is released slowly and over a long period and particularly at the desired wall. Various manufacturers and marketers are looking for these types of stents so that the rejection of stents is prevented.


Green Nanotechnology Can Reduce Pollution from Diesel Fuel Emissions

June 2nd, 2007

Green Nanotechnology is the term applied to the innovative blending of Nanotechnology solutions to environmental problems. One such example taking place in Japan involves a startling discovery made by researchers in converting soot from diesel fuel emissions into carbon Nanotubes. The end result is an environmentally friendly manufacturing process made possible by Nanotechnology.

While the industrialized world looks for ways of reducing the amount of toxic carbon emissions into the atmosphere, Nanotechnology goes one step further. It enables companies to effectively neutralize the effect of existing pollutants, rendering them harmless.

This new world of Nano-enabled solutions belongs to a set of devices known by the moniker of “Nanofiltration.” These types of filters are already in wide use already, in applications such as water and air filters, as well as in the smokestack stacks of some manufacturing companies. The filtered material, however–be it diesel soot or other kinds–may eventually go into the ground. Thus, a true Green Nanotechnology solution must involve a two-pronged approach that deals both with the filtration as well as its after effects.

In Japan, researchers have demonstrated how this can be done with diesel soot, the byproduct of diesel fuel emissions. They have collected the soot from the internal combustion engines of vehicles and have demonstrated that it can be recycled into manufacturing material for carbon Nanotubes. Particulate matter filters remove the soot, while laser vaporization is used to synthesize the single-walled Carbon Nanotubes. The process was published in an article entitled, “Synthesis of Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes from Diesel Soot”, in the Japanese Journal of Applied Physics.


Passivated Nanoparticles

May 31st, 2007

Passivated nanoparticles are the building materials for many assemblies. These are nanometer sized colloidal particles and these can be produced from various materials. The nanoparticles are typically terminated by organic monolayer such as alkanethiol molecules and show diverse functional properties. The electronic, optical and catalytic properties of these nanoparticles as reported by many researchers are different from their corresponding bulk material properties. The organic layer act as a binding agent and core by a thiolate bond and consequently prevent the particles from aggregating in either solution or on a surface and thus these nanoparticles retain their functionality as well as uniqueness.

Passivated metal especially gold nanoclusters have been used to form thin films or ordered monolayers. The diameter of nanoparticles especially if it is in the range of 1-10 nm is best suitable for constructing various nanoscale devices. The X ray analysis of super lattice formed by three-dimensional assembly of passivated gold reveals that the macroscopic properties of three-dimensional super lattice are determined by the properties of individual as well as the interaction between nanocrystal due to the ligands attached to the nanoparticles.

Thus the organic molecule or ligand attached to the nanoparticle regulate interparticle bonding and if interparticle spacing is changed, we get change in length of molecular chain and simultaneously we will get the altered values of electronic, optical and transport properties also. Further we can use a variety of organic molecule to passivate the nanoparticle core and therefore we have large number of options to select attachment of individual nanoparticle and to fabricate nanodevices.

It has already been reported self-assembly processes including gold and silver nanowires and nanoparticles in the recent years and a recent study reported successful self-assembly of CdTe nanoparticles to form a crystalline nanowire. Patterning is another area through which nanoparticle assembly can be achieved by modifying surfaces. Nanoparticles thus having selectively passivated or having designed ligands can selectively be self-assembled and a suitable nanodevice can be obtained.


NanoTRANSFER 2007 Makes a Call for Presentations

May 30th, 2007

A major Nanotechnology conference in Europe later this year will address how Nanotechnology has been able to solve problems in vertical business markets. The industries targeted will include those specializing in Electronics and Optics, Energy, the Environment and Consumer products. Conferee attendees include everyone from Nanotechnology startups to investors as well as established businesses interested in Nanotechnology. While the conference will not be held until the end of this year, NanoSprint is issuing a call for presentations.

The presentations submitted will demonstrate Nanotechnology-enabled solutions to specific problems. The purpose of these discussions is to engage in a meaningful technology transfer between companies seeking to use Nanotechnology and the potential end users themselves.

A veritable galaxy of stars in the European Nanotechnology world will be in attendance to give the talks. Some of this year’s supporting organizations include the National Science and Technology Institute and TechLead Corporation. Last year’s conference included luminaries from such organizations as European Space Agency, the Nanotechnology Trade Alliance, Nanotechnology and Life (Switzerland), Nano Clusters Devices (New Zealand), and many more. This year’s conference will be held on December 3,4 at the Novotel Charenton in Paris.


Layer-by-Layer assembled nanocomposites

May 28th, 2007

The layer-by-layer assembly (LBL) is a comparatively new method by which thin films particularly of oppositely charged layers are deposited. Thin film layer-by-layer assembly technique can also be utilized for nanoparticles. In general the layer-by-layer assembly is described as sequential adsorption of positive or negative charged species by alternatively dipping into the solutions. The excess or remaining solution after each adsorption step is rinsed with solvent and thus we get a thin layer of charged species on the surface ready for next adsorption step.

There are many advantages of layer-by-layer assembly technique and these include simplicity, universality and thickness control in nanoscale. Further the layer-by-layer assembly process does not require highly pure components and sophisticated hardware. For almost all-aqueous dispersion of even high molecular weight species, it is easy to find an LBL pair that can be useful for building thin layer. Actually in each adsorption step, we get either a monolayer or a sub monolayer of the species and therefore we can find the number of adsorption steps needed for a particular nanoscale layer.

The variety of species and components are available for layer-by-layer assembly process and this has led to an exceptional growth in the LBL nanocomposites. Further organic-inorganic composite can act as functional groups and that can improve the performance of the material. Many biomolecules show polyelectrolyte nature and further the characteristics distance will lead the new direction in biomedical applications of planar LBL film. Photonic materials are being examined especially luminescent nanoparticles in multiplayer films that can enable to get a new biocomposites.


Nanotechnology Presents New Oversight Role for the EPA

May 26th, 2007

A new report that acknowledges that Nanotechnology is the new industrial revolution urges the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish oversight measures to monitor the potential risks and health hazards resulting from this new technology. The report is titled, EPA and Nanotechnology: Oversight for the 21st Century and was commissioned by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. The purpose of the report is to ensure that appropriate regulatory measures are put in place while at the same encouraging continued investment in Nanotechnology.

The report mentions a number of measures whereby the EPA, working in concert with Congress, the President and other agencies, can assess the risks and health hazards posed by Nanotechnology while placing the appropriate oversight mechanisms in place. Existing laws such as the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) will have to be revamped in order to reflect the changes brought to the environment by Nanotechnology. The report encourages the EPA to work with private industry to conduct research on Nanotechnology’s impact to the environment, and encourages Congress to lift any regulatory restraints that would hinder sharing of information between the EPA and private companies. The report suggests that Congress allocates an additional $50 million per year to conduct health related research on this new technology.

The report stresses just as Nanotechnology has revolutionized all facets of modern existence, it also can serve as a catalyst for much needed change in the EPA, making it current for the 21st century. The agency will need to be evaluated from the ground up, touching upon everything from personnel to science programs and international activities. The report concludes with agenda action items over the next five years and beyond that should be implemented to bring about this much needed change. The report can be read in its entirety online at http://www.nanotechproject.org.


The synthesis of colloidal solutions of non-noble metal nanoparticles

May 26th, 2007

Colloidal solution has been the topic of intense research during the last decade and various methods have been designed to obtain suitable colloidal solutions of non-noble metal nanoparticles. These colloids can be suitable as building blocks for numerous applications. Lots of synthetic roots have been identified and investigated to develop colloids. Stable fluids of non-noble metallic nanoparticles can be synthesized through hydrophobic solvent route.

The stability of colloids in organic solvents has been examined by various scientists and a few argued the stability of the colloids on the basis of electrostatic forces between non-noble particles and their stabilizers are responsible for the physical nature of colloids. The other possible reason of producing stable non-noble metal nanoparticles is chemisorption, however a few other scientists als see the possibility of physisorption.

Scientists also have produced colloids by alternate methods by reduction of metallic salts in organic solvents. The compounds used for preparing colloids determine the shape as well as the stability of the final particles. A small change in preparation condition can give a different output and as it is a well known fact in colloidal chemistry that the crystal structures might be different from bulk material.

Catalysis requires low range nanoparticles having large surface to volume ratio and therefore colloidal particles finds their uses in catalysis. Practically different colloidal structures possess different properties and these structures and particular properties should be considered before selecting these colloids for a particular application.


Nanotechnology Used in Blood Analysis

May 24th, 2007

As scientists explore the potential for applying Nanotechnology in the biomedical field, a group of researchers has discovered a technique for analyzing nanoparticles in the blood stream and human tissue. Both the National Cancer Institute and the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory have developed a method for looking at two types of nanoparticles belonging to the fullerene family. These are carbon based molecules which take a variety of forms—known as allotropes—and which exhibit different behaviors in various circumstances. Being able to detect these fullerenes in the blood stream would make them invaluable for imaging analysis applications.

Scientists use a technique called capillary electrophoresis to inspect the two types of fullerenes, carbonyxfullerenes and dendrofullerenes, which have different shapes and which are being considered for medical applications. Researchers compared a variety of techniques for inspecting and quantifying these fullerenes: capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE) and micellar electrokinetic chromatography (MECK). Both techniques are similar in functionality except that MECK performs additional molecular separation of the nanoparticles.

Based on their study the researchers concluded that the CZE technique was significantly faster and more effective at analyzing and quantifying the presence of the fullerenes injected into the bloodstream, with concentrations in the range of 0 to 500 micrograms per milliliter. It will not be long before these techniques can be applied a wide range of medical tools using Nanotechnology to perform diagnosis and detection of disease.


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