• New quantum dots can amplify light for tunable lasers

    Materials World magazine
    Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, USA, have engineered a new version of quantum dots (semiconductor nanocrystals) that can amplify light for cheaper and tunable lasers at a range of wavelenghts at a range of wavelengths.
  • Polystyrene nanosphere dyes

    Polystyrene nanospheres replace toxic dyes to produce structural colours

    Materials World magazine
    With increasing concerns about the use of traditional dyes on the environment, materials that use polysytene nanospheres rather than toxic dyes to produce colour have been the subject of research by scientists at the University of Southampton, UK. The sphere size controls the wavelength which light is reflected and scattered from the film, offering new possibilities for structural colours. The materials have already attracted the interest of Unilever, Kodak, Merck and Degussa for applications ranging from packaging to automotives.
  • Diet coke can

    Keeping drink cans cooler for longer

    Packaging Professional magazine
    A Nanoskin insulation technology made from a metallised polymer film of one micron-thick vacuum cells could keep food or drinks cooler for longer.
  • Supraspheres

    Mouldable metals' created using nanocrystals

    Materials World magazine
    A method of assembling metal nanoparticles into a clay-like structure that can be moulded and fired has been developed by researchers at Northwestern University, Chicago, USA. Paternal applications include flexible electronics.
  • Plasma-coated stent

    3D plasma coating technique prevents stents from clogging

    Materials World magazine
    Researchers at the University of Ulster, UK, have developed a 3D plasma coating technique to prevent stents from developing neointima, where thick muscle tissue grows over the surface, leading to the blood vessel narrowing again. Thin films of carbon, ceramics and platinum are coated using the new method to prevent clogging.
  • Air gaps microprocessor

    Air-gap insulation method increases chip speed

    Materials World magazine
    Air gap insulation between copper wires in microprossesors can increase chip speed making them more efficient, say researchers at IBM.
  • Carbon nanotube array

    Creating longer nanotubes

    Materials World magazine
    Attempts to grow carbon nanotubes have had limited success. However researchers from the Universiy of Cincinnati in the USA, claim to have used a novel composite catalyst made of alternating layers of metal and ceramics, to grow the world's longest array of aligned carbon nanotubes carbon nanotubes that have high mechanical, electrical and optical properties.
  • Array of superlenses

    Metamaterials for magnifying superlenses

    Materials World magazine
    Advances in the field of magnifying superlenses have been reported by two separate US research teams. Conventional lenses are limited by the diffraction limit of light, which prevents high resolution imaging of features smaller than its wavelengths. The new superlenses are made from metamaterials designed to capture the evanescent waves that exist close to the surface of an object.
  • Natural fibre-based packaging

    Nanoclays modified with crustacean shells

    Packaging Professional magazine
    Scientists at Sheffield Hallam University, UK, have modified nanoclays with molecules from the shells of crustaceans and dispensed them in natural polymers, such as starch, to create natural fibre-based packaging a viable alternative to petroleum based-polymers. The research is part of the four-year European Sustainpack project bringing together packaging research associations, academia and industry from 13 European countries. The scheme, which is due to end in 2008, aims to encourage widespread use of biopolymers, paper and board for packaging.
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    Single-phase bulk solids heat management

    Materials World magazine
    Scientists at the IBM T J Watson Research Center and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, both in the USA, are exploring the optical and thermal electric properties of new composite materials that harness the properties of multiple semiconductors in one superlatice material using different nanocrystal combinations to be used in the recovery of waste heat.