Spotted in the MAKE Flickr pool, this beautiful modular origami construction, Ã la Tomoko Fuse, from user fdecomite. Its formal title, Giant short nanotube, provides a rare opportunity to observe a double oxymoron in the wild.Continue Reading
Researchers at the NanoRobotics Laboratory of the Ã‰cole Polytechnique de MontrÃ©al, under Professor Sylvain Martel, produced this remarkable video showing a swarm of about 5,000 flagellated bacteria–of a type which are subject to manipulation by magnetic fields–being directed to assemble six 100 μm epoxy bricks into the shape of a tiny step pyramid. IEEE Spectrum […]Continue Reading
The folks over at OSnano are working to make nanotechnology to the home laboratory. Their first project is a guide to fabricating your own Magnetite Nanocrystals: Why? Magnetite Nanocrystals are good for removing arsenic from water. Based on recent advances in nanotechnology, it’s now possible to make regular magnetite nanocrystals as small as 20-100nm, and […]Continue Reading
While this dress by Abbey Liebman incorporating flexible photovoltaics for charging personal electronics is interesting, what really caught my eye was the fact that it uses an improved type of conductive thread based on a proprietary blend of polymers and nanoparticles.
You click on a link and buy some silver-based conductive thread right now, but over the course of years, the current silver-based threads will slowly oxidize in air and the conductivity will start to degrade. Presumably, the new material (from the Hinestroza research group at Cornell) does not.
About a year ago I was considering a tutorial for Make: Projects about making one’s own conductive thread using carbon nanotubes (CNTs). At the time, you could buy small samples of CNTs from several places around the web at “educator’s” prices. Research on CNT-based conductive inks has shown that carbon nanotubes dispersed in water bond strongly enough to cellulose in paper to resist washing and prolonged mechanical wear, and would also, presumably, show similar performance on cotton thread. So I’m pretty sure you could make durable conductive thread just by soaking regular cotton thread in a dispersion of CNTs in water. Unfortunately, more research has shown, pretty conclusively, that carbon nanotubes are bad for you. Which is probably why the supply of those accessible “educator” samples seem to have dried up. Oh well.Continue Reading
It’s tin that’s been etched with a focused ion beam (FIB) instrument, with bits ion-welded platinum for the nose and to hold the tin spheres together. I guess it’s impractical to work with actual ice when you’re at the 10 micrometer scale. A human hair is about 50 micrometers across. It’s the work of Dr. David Cox and co-workers at the National Physical Laboratory in London.Continue Reading
Ordinary copy paper can be made highly conductive by treating it with a simple water-based dispersion of carbon nanotubes. Bing Hu and other graduate students under Stanford researcher Yi Cui published a paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) describing the use of such conductive paper to create high-performing prototype supercapacitors, batteries, and fuel cells. He also studied the wear resistance of the nanotube ink and found that it bonds very tightly to the paper; his data show that soaking, rinsing, and wringing-out in water does not significantly affect the properties of the treated paper. The supplementary information for his PNAS paper is freely available for download and describes his experimental methods in detail, including the recipe for his ink and the trick of reloading a commercial highlighter with it. [via Science Daily]Continue Reading