Carbon nanotubes have long been touted as the wonder material of the future. Applications cited for carbon nanotubes range from super fast computers and ultra small electronics through to materials that are lightweight yet super strong and tougher than diamond.
Several techniques have been devised for producing carbon nanotubes but, getting these materials and devices from the laboratory to the marketplace is obstructed by one inherent problem. Scaling up laboratory production techniques to produce commercial quantities of high quality, high purity carbon nanotubes is a difficult process. But this is set to change with another type of recently discovered nanotube currently under investigation.
This promising new material is molybdenum-sulfur-iodine nanowires. Researchers from Jožef Stefan Institute have investigated the atomic and electronic structure of molybdenum-sulfur-iodine molecular nanowires as well as their basic transport, optical and mechanical properties. The research has now been published in a special edition of the open access journal, AZoJono and can be accessed in its entirety at http://www.azonano.com/Details.asp?ArticleID=2039.
This special edition of AZoJono* features a number of papers from DESYGN-IT, the project seeking to secure Europe as the international scientific leader in the design, synthesis, growth, characterisation and applications of nanotubes, nanowires and nanotube arrays for industrial technology.
The research team of D. Dvorsek, D. Vengust, V. Nicolosi, W.J. Blau, J.C. Coleman and D. Mihailovic found that the material also known as MoSIx nanowires was relatively easy to synthesise and disperse making it highly suited to commercialisation. The properties of the nanowires point to them being suited for use in applications such as battery electrodes, tribology and field emission displays. Ongoing research will look at growth mechanisms, stoichiometry control, magnetoelasticity and electrostrictive properties.
Ian Birkby | EurekAlert!
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Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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