Latest News
Iran in bid to set up nanoscience hub in Nairobi  ||   Understanding ceramic ‘mortar’ of materials may reveal ways to improve them  ||   Novel Electrode for Efficient Artificial Synthesis of Ammonia  ||   New antiviral, antibacterial surface could reduce spread of infections in hospitals  ||   Novel insight reveals topological tangle in unexpected corner of the universe  ||   Electrical fields can throw a curveball  ||   Second life for electric vehicle batteries  ||   A new law in laser physics could make eye surgery simpler  ||   Rise to valletronics based information processing and storage technology  ||   Moldable Nanomaterials and a Printing Technology  ||   RENEWABLE ENERGY ADVANCE  ||   Colour-changing, Flexible Photonic Crystals  ||   Study says Nanotechnology Can Boost Crop Yield During Crises  ||   One-Way Components  ||   Pharmaceutical: Multi-vitamin pill dissolution || Nano Tv  ||   Nanobowls serve up chemotherapy drugs to cancer cells   ||   HKBU invents nanostructure that stimulates growth of stem cells for Parkinson's disease treatment  ||   May 11, National Technology Day  ||   Nanotech's KolourOptik Platform Finalist for Best New Currency Innovation by IACA  ||   Obesity prevented in mice treated with gene-disabling nanoparticles  ||   Water-splitting module a source of perpetual energy  ||   ARCIs mechanically stable antireflective coating can increase the power conversion efficiency of solar thermal systems  ||   Indian professor enters list that includes Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and Nelson Mandela  ||   Pressing 'pause' on nature's crystal symmetry  ||   Red light for stress  ||   Magnetic drugs' could stay at disease sites longer  ||   Nanotechnology Might Help Fight Deadly 'Cytokine Storm' of COVID-19  ||   Super-Chiral Light  ||   A material with a particular twist  ||   Cool down fast to advance quantum nanotechnology  ||   New structure for promising class of materials discovered  ||   ARCI, Hyderabad's Disinfectant trolley to fight Covid 19  ||   Two fabrics can effectively filter out aerosol particles  ||   New tool can map nanomechanical properties of materials like multi-phase alloys, composites & multi-layered coatings  ||   New 'brick' for nanotechnology  ||   INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT EARLY USAGE OF NANOTECHNOLOGY  ||   SRI INTERNATIONAL WON THE GOLD EDISON AWARD  ||   DST FOCUSES ON NANOTECHNOLOGY FOR TREATING COVID-19  ||   ‘REALISTIC’ STRENGTH OF GRAPHENE DISCOVERED  ||   YOUNG NANOSCIENTIST THINKING SMALL IN A BIG WAY  ||   CHINA AND US SALUTE THE CYBORG SOLDIER  ||   YELLOW IS THE NEW BROWN  ||   THE STATE-OF-THE-ART RESEARCH FACILITY IN THE VISAYAS REGION  ||   SYMPOSIUM ON NANOTECHNOLOGY HELD  ||   THE PIONEER OF FIBER OPTICS AND NANOTECHNOLOGY  ||   NEW INSIGHTS IN SUPERCONDUCTIVITY  ||   REDUCE ERRORS ACROSS QUANTUM COMPUTERS  ||   NANO-SPONGE WITH SURPRISING PROPERTIES  ||   ULTRATHIN ORGANIC SOLAR CELL IS BOTH EFFICIENT AND DURABLE  ||   PARK SYSTEMS ANNOUNCES NANO RESEARCH GRANT FUND  ||   CENTRIFUGAL FIELD-FLOW FRACTIONATION  ||   “VALLEY SEMICONDUCTORS”  ||  

Latest Issues

NANO-SPONGE WITH SURPRISING PROPERTIES

Magnified view of the new material. The pores have a diameter
of around one hundredth of a millimetre. The shells around the pores are
just 10 to 20 nanometres thick. (Photograph: Caltech / Carlos Portela).

Materials with a defined nanostructure can have surprising properties. One example is a lightweight ceramic that springs back to its original shape, like a sponge, after being compressed. One day, such materials could be used in ultrasensitive tactile sensors or advanced batteries. A team of engineers from ETH Zurich and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena has now developed a new way of manufacturing such materials.

Until now, the only way to produce these materials was layer by layer in painstaking 3D printing processes, and then only in small quantities. The new method makes this much easier. Under the leadership of ETH Professor Dennis Kochmann and Caltech colleague Julia Greer, the scientists blended two liquid polymers into a finely distributed emulsion. Next, they allowed the polymers to separate and then fully harden, before dissolving one of the two components out of the material. This created a network of extremely fine labyrinthine pores. The researchers coated this porous body with aluminium oxide. Finally, they dissolved the second polymer component, leaving behind a nano‑network of extremely thin “shells” of aluminium oxide.

No edges or corners

With this new technique, the researchers managed to create samples of such a material on the cubic-centimetre scale for the first time. “We couldn’t 3D print this much nanoarchitected material even in a month; instead we’re able to grow it in a matter of hours,” says Carlos Portela, postdoctoral scholar at Caltech.

By virtue of its special shell structure, the material is extremely lightweight yet also extremely stiff and strong. This is because the shells have no corners or junctions (and therefore no internal weak points). Tests have shown that the new material has strength-to-density ratios comparable to some types of steel – and yet the material can still be compressed like a sponge. Even after repeated compression up to 30 percent, it showed only marginal signs of damage.

As a next step, the team is planning to optimise the process such that they can precisely control the inner material structure during production. In addition, the researchers are pushing for the production of larger volumes of the material.

Nano Tv

Latest issues