The AZoNano.com "Nanotech Thought Leaders" series is a collection of articles that cover the key technology areas where Nanotechnology is making an impact and where it will make an increasing impact. All the articles are written by experts who have been invited as recognised leaders in their fields to provide a "state of the art" contribution.
For their integration into a desired matrix, nanoparticles often require a surface treatment after or during their synthesis to make them compatible with the surrounding matrix material.
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are rolled up sheets of graphite that form into a tube with only one layer of carbon atoms or a tube with many layers of carbon atoms. These carbon nanotubes strain sensors open a new way of developing cheaper multifunctional sensing units for structural health monitoring.
Future nano-devices are expected to underpin many of the technologies that society relies on, ranging from household electronics to medical implants. 'Self-assembly' holds great promise as a technique for building commercial nano-circuits.
New materials are needed to radically transform the efficiencies of energy harnessing, transduction, storage and delivery, yet the synthesis of advanced composites and multi-metallic semiconductors with nanostructures optimized for these functions remains poorly understood.
Heterogeneous photocatalysis involves the use of a semi-conducting material which can be excited by the absorption of light. The applications of photocatalysis include water treatment and purification, air treatment and purification, and 'self-cleaning' surfaces.
Coventry based advanced technology company Exilica Limited has recently teamed up with Rondol Technology Limited, a producer of polymer processing equipment, to produce prototype composite plastics containing Exilica's µ-Sq beads and Hollow silica shells.
The future success of nanotechnology in textile applications lies in areas where new functionalities are combined into durable, multifunctional textile systems without compromising the inherent favourable textile properties.
PMMA is a non water soluble polymer that can be synthesized in a very controllable way by different polymerization techniques, with a narrow molecular distribution and it is easily functionalizable. Among these advantages, this polymer is very stable and easy to handle.
Food is not the first field that comes to mind when looking for opportunities to apply the results of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Most people like their food natural and do not want too much technology to be involved.
RMIT University researchers have used nanotechnology to create a pioneering sensor that can precisely measure one of the world's most poisonous substances, mercury. The mercury sensor developed by RMIT's Industrial Chemistry Group uses nano-engineered gold structures that attract mercury molecules.