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.
Due to the ever increasing energy demand and growing global concern over the environmental impact of CO2 emissions, there is a need to seek solutions to transit from fossil fuels to sustainable energy. In this "Thought Leader' article Prof. Huey Hoon Hng of Nanyang Technological University discusses how harvesting waste energy with nanostructured thermoelectric materials just may help this cause.
Thermodynamic relations may be regarded as the motor driving chemical processes (while chemical kinetics represents the brakes). In order to operate, the relations need to be powered with the fuel of values for the thermodynamic quantities concerned, such as enthalpies, entropies, heat capacities, Gibbs and Helmholtz energies, and so forth.
The statement that a materials functionality is controlled by defects is perhaps the most recognized paradigm of materials science, solid state electrochemistry, and condensed physics alike.
Nanotechnology has been well supported in the UK within a rather restricted budget, in ways that have encouraged the effective use of funds and with a clear policy to translate the outputs of basic research into future applications.
Microfluidics is a research area within MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) and is concerned with the control of the flow of fluids measured in micro, nano, or even Pico, litre, quantities.
This "Thought Leader' article from Prof Luis M. Liz-Marzan discusses a novel and efficient method to coat CTAB-capped gold nanoparticles, opening up new avenues toward the fabrication of miniaturized sensing devices.
The existing tools available to perform infrared spectroscopy and microscopy at the nanometer scale are limited considering all the different near-field microscopes. However AFM-IR, a new infrared spectromicroscope coupling an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) to a tunable laser, allows researchers to derive chemical information on a scale not previously possible.
Despite graphenes impressive list of promising prospects, it does not have a band-gap, once it is conducting it cannot be switched-off. However recent demonstrations show this can be overcome, opening the door for materials like graphene to be used in quantum pumps with benefits over more traditional semiconductor materials.
One of the scientific revolutions of the 20th century is Quantum Mechanics. It is a weird theory, extremely different from our day to day experiences, in which, for example, a particle can act as a wave or can be in several places at once.
Sixty years ago, the famous structure of the DNA double helix was solved, bringing about the birth of modern molecular biology. Since then, DNA has been extensively studied as a genetic material.