The future is huge for tiny technology. Miniaturization is, perhaps ironically, a huge deal. I mean, without it we wouldn't have had the personal computer revolution and we wouldn't have this world we live in now, where we have smartphones and tablets and other devices just as powerful as a computer, that can fit in the palm of your hand. But even these gadgets are gargantuan compared to nanotechnology! See, a nanometer is just one billionth of a meter. And that's kind of hard to imagine, so let me put it to you this way.
Your typical sheet of paper is about one hundred thousand nanometers thick. And at this scale, individual elements are so small you can't even see them with a light microscope. Now as we learn more about how materials behave on the nanoscale, we have more potential applications to use that knowledge practically. I'm talking about how nanotech could help solar panel technology. And fortunately, at a recent meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS, they had a panel on just this very subject. Now if you know anything about solar panels you know they have some drawbacks. For example,.
Efficiency they max out at around twenty percent in the field under ideal conditions. They're also rigid, so you can't just put them anywhere you like. And they tend to be expensive because manufacturing them is complicated. But scientists hope that nanotechnology can help address all three of these challenges. Now with efficiency they're looking to nature specifically, moth eyes. You see, moths have these little tiny structures in their eyes that help reflect light back into the eye and it does two things it lets them see better in the dark, and it cuts down.
On reflection so predators can't spot them as easily. With solar panels it could actually make them more efficient by reflecting more of the sun's light into the panel so you lose less in reflection. And when we're talking about flexibility, well nanomaterials are really, really small, and there is the potential to create solar panels that are just a few sheets of molecules thick. They could be as flexible as a sheet of paper, and with that kind of flexibility you could put those pretty much anywhere you wanted to.
And as for price, well, that's the big one. And in the short term I don't think it's going to turn around. But scientists are cautiously optimistic that nanotechnology will let us use new processes, like printing solar panels directly onto a substrate using just a specialized printer. That would actually be less complicated and expensive than traditional manufacturing methods. Now at that meeting of the AAAS, a Dr. Wolfgang Porod gave a talk about Nanoantenna Thermocouples for Energy Harvesting. Which I admit sounds like technobabble straight out of a Star Trek episode.
But it's actually fairly simple once you break it down. A nanoantenna is just an antenna on the nanoscale. These resonate with longwave infrared radiation. And a thermocouple Well that's a component of circuitry that generates a voltage when one part of the thermocouple is a different temperature than other part. So you pair these two together and the antenna generates heat and the thermocouple generates voltage. It could actually help increase the efficiency of solar panels. Now like I said, nanotechnology is a young science and it has lots of different applications.
Across many disciplines. And I'm really excited how such a small technology could have such a huge impact. That leads me to this week's question. When I say the word nanotechnology what do you imagine What does that word mean to you Let us know in the comments below. Then, do me a nanosized favor and share this tutorial with your friends. If you enjoyed it make sure you hit the 'like' button and subscribe to our channel. Then check out these tutorials over here. There's some huge surprises in them.
Nanotechnology for More Efficient Solar Cells Interview with Prof. Jillian Buriak
What nanotechnology is, is a number of different concepts, ideas, and approaches for doing many things. So for instance, we work a lot in the area of renewable energies so we're using the concepts that we've learned from nanotechnology being able to control things at the atomic and molecular scale to be able to make more efficient solar cells, for instance to be able to take energy from the sun and transform that into electricity that you can then use for anything. So there are a few reasons why getting away from fossil fuels.
Is important. When you look at the amount of energy that humanity's going to require by say 2050, using the most conservative estimates that we've got, our energy needs are going to double and by 2100, they're going to probably triple. When you think about the security, the economic security, the social security of humanity, as this living species, as a civilization on this planet, we really need inexpensive sustainable sources of energy. I call this a quiet revolution because for the first time, I think in a history of science,.
Is that you've got the distinct silos you got the biologist talking to physicist, talking to the medical people, all using the tools and the enabling technologies of nanotechnology to solve these big problems. I think that we have a very important responsibility to share with the public our results, to be able to be accessible because I'm paying the bills, you're paying the bills, we're all paying the bills as taxpayers. And we should be available, and we should be able to speak freely about our research because that's what the public pays us to do.
Exploring the World of Nanotechnology
M. Agarwal Nanotechnology is creation of material devices and systems through the understanding and control of matter at the dimension of nanoskin that is one, two hundred nanometer, and at that dimensions, the functionalities and property of matter changes, and we can use that for many areas of application. So, this is a nanotechnology discovery summer day camp, and here the high school students are provided with an opportunity to explore the interdisciplinary nature of nanotechnology as we all know that nanotechnology is just becoming very essential, not only in engineering, science, and medicine, but also in many other.
The Universitat Jaume I in Castell is carrying out a scientific and technological research project about solar cells designed with nanotehnology based on lowcostsemiconductor nanocrystals. The director of the project is Juan Bisquert professor in Applied Physics, who explains what this research is. It tries to use very small particles, at nanometre size to make cheap solar cells. Nanocrystals have very interesting properties because they absorb light very well and its preparation is simple. We must consider that these procedures are carried out on a tiny scale of size nanotechnology. Ivn Mora, his collaborator explains it in this way.
A nanometer is a million times smaller than a millimeter. When we are in these tiny dimensions, we talk about a very small world. In this world there are atoms and in these dimensions a new physics appears that is not equal to which we know in the macroscopic world to which we are accustomed. The objective to achieve photovoltaic energy is to get these devices to be applied in daily life. Our idea is to develop these solar devices that they can be applied. They are also more versatile devices, for example,.
Check out the assembly line of the future! Science Nation
MUSIC MILES O'BRIEN The manufacturing going on in this speciallylit clean room is about to go mainstream. Tiny nanodevices are embedded and rolling off the presses. Think of it as a great leap forward in fabrication. In the future, these new methods could bring clothing that protects soldiers from chemical weapons. Or small bandaids that constantly monitor vital signs in real time. Whether we're at work or at play. JIM WATKINS You can have something that both performs better and is less expensive, right That's really the heart of nanomanufacturing. MILES O'BRIEN With support from the National Science.
Foundation, University of MassachusettsAmherst Chemical Engineer Jim Watkins and his team at the NSF Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing are working to take nanotech from the lab bench to an industrial scale. JIM WATKINS One of the things that the center does is it paves that road right from the laboratory to a manufacturable platform where industry can pick it up and use it in a real world process to make products that people want and that people can afford. MILES O'BRIEN This rolltoroll process is already used in traditional manufacturing, but now Watkins.
And his team are developing methods to incorporate nanotechnologies into the process. That's of high interest to Jim Casey who works for Flexcon a company that manufactures labels and coatings, using a rolltoroll system. JIM CASEY But, we are working in areas with antimicrobial surfaces, some health monitoring systems, some defense applications. The application potential is huge and the opportunities overwhelming! MILES O'BRIEN It's a big job working with materials this small. Nanoparticles are about 100thousand times thinner than a human hair. WORKER The wet film now is on the outside of this roll,.
Travels up MILES O'BRIEN The team is working on a nanomanufacturing process to make printable coatings that improve the way solar panels absorb and direct light. Watkins says they're also using a similar process to light up a room. JIM WATKINS They can go in the windows to bend light, so that you can illuminate both the top and the bottom of a room improve your ambient lighting. MILES O'BRIEN Communications is another area ripe for nanomanufacturing. JIM WATKINS We've used nanotechnologies to shrink the size of antennae for the communications. We can use.
Nanotechnology to improve the sensitivity of the sensor. MILES O'BRIEN They are also looking to use selfassembling nanoproducts that could have applications for many industries. JIM WATKINS We build inks that are composed of macro molecules, nanoparticles, nanotubes, nanorods. These systems will spontaneously assemble into the structure morphology that we want on their own. MILES O'BRIEN Down the line, the applications for nanomanufactured products are nearly endless. Better sensors could improve cancer imaging, and make the lines at airport security dwindle away. It's all about working with industries to expand their reach into this brave, tiny, new world.
Technology developed in New Mexico could make solar cells smaller, more powerful
DON'T WANT THEIR EMPLOYEES TO USE THEIR PHONES DURING THE DAY, BUT A NEW STUDY SHOWS, TAKING A SMARTPHONE BREAK MAY ACTUALLY BE A GOOD THING. RESEARCHERS AT KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY FOUND EMPLOYEES WHO WERE ALLOWED TO TAKE MICROBREAKS ON THEIR PHONES, WERE HAPPIER AND MORE PRODUCTIVE. THE STUDY ALSO FOUND THAT PEOPLE SPEND AN AVERAGE OF 22 MINUTES DURING THEIR 8 HOUR DAY, ON THEIR SMARTPHONES. AND RIGHT NOW, THE SANDIA NATIONAL LABS ARE WORKING ON MAKING THOSE SMARTPHONES AND OTHER DEVICES SMALLER, AND BETTER. KOAT ACTION 7 NEWS REPORTER MIKE.
SPRINGER SHOWS US THE SCIENCE, THAT COULD SOON END UP IN YOUR HOME. IT LOOKS QUITE SIMPLE. USING PRESSURE AGAINST TWO DIAMOND PLATES TO CREATE THESE SMALLER, MORE FLEXIBLE NANO WIRES. ELECTRONS GOING THROUGH WIRES WILL NOW HAVE A SHORTER DISTANCE TO TRAVEL. MAKING FOR SMALLER, MORE POWERFUL ELECTRONICS. you produce the device much more faster, efficient and cleaner IT TOOK DOCTOR HONGYOU FAN AT THE SANDIA NATIONAL LABORATORIES 4 YEARS TO PREFECT IT. HE SAYS BECAUSE YOU CAN USE IT TO MAKE WIRES FIT ALMOST ANY SHAPE OR SIZE THE.
TECHNOLOGY HAS ALMOST ENDLESS APPLICATIONS. IT COULD EVEN BE USED FOR THINGS LIKE CHEMICAL SENSORS, LASERS AND ANTENNAS. it could even make some of the everyday devices we use like our cell phones, smaller and more powerful. FAN SAYS IT'S CHEAPER THAN THE STANDARD CHEMICAL APPROACH USED TO PRODUCE THOSE NANO WIRES TODAY. HE SAYS HIS PRODUCTION PROCESS IS MUCH SHORTER BECAUSE YOU CAN AVOID SOME OF THE STEPS. so unlike the chemistry, so you have to make them in a solution and separate and clean them and then put into device.
Pushing the limits of light with nanotechnology Research Insider
Introductory music Nanoscience matters really because we are making materials that have been never been made before So we don't want to keep the statusquo of using the same LED lightning, the same biochemistry the same drugs. We want to continue to push the limits. Nanomaterials are really, first of all materials that are less than a 100 nanometers. So a few billions of a meter and the lab really is interested in two different types one is semiconductive quantumdots and the other one are alloy nanomaterial particles like gold and silver or stainless steel.
This is one of the neater things that we have. Just made this kind of Syracuse mold. In this case it's excited by Ultraviolet lights.But the whole idea is to get light from nanomaterials without having to plug them into a battery or into an electrical socket. So these are the quantum dot materials. Some of them have different brightnesses depending on their effeciency. So just by changing the size only a few nanometers or a few dozen atoms or so you can manipulate their optical properties quite dramatically. So you can see one emits orange and the other one emitting red.
So this is good for in the future, maybe LED TV's but also even in Solar Cells. So it's actually these materials that convert light directly into charge or electricity. Music That's a lot like baking at home. You have to find the exact recipe. The big difference here is that you have some reactive chemicals some pretty high temperatures. In terms of realworld applications it's really down to converting energy. So for example, can we convert sunlight into electricity in a relatively efficient manner. Maybe with a flexible display or a flexible coding.
In Nanotechs Small World, Big Opportunities Abound
Today's tech startups are transforming lives and reinventing how business is done. We take a look at the hot industries where gamechanging ideas are becoming a reality. It's a field that deals with the tiniest things imaginable, and these days, there are big opportunities in the area of nanotechnology. It's the ultimate knowhow. It's the science that enables us to design and develop and do practically everything. We're here at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany, where hundreds of nanotech companies have access to state of the art technology.
Startups working in nanotech manipulate materials at the molecular level. Those white suits are to protect the equipment, not the people, as even a particle of dust can be disruptive as a boulder when you work in nanoscale. Entrepreneurs use nanotech knowhow to improve products in almost every way. Lighter, more durable, cheaper, uses less energy, be more diversified, make as many functions as possible. Everything from semiconductors and solar cells, to pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, even sports equipment like tennis rackets. Alain Kaloyeros is the CEO of the college, the nation's premier nanotech research facility.
The culture we have created here, it doesn't operate in silos. For example, you have innovators, researchers who not are just developing new concepts or innovating whether it's new computer chips, whether it's sensors for the environment, whether it's medical applications. They also some of them take that whole knowhow and translate that into business and entrepreneurship. The state of New York has invested heavily in nanotech, creating this 1.3 millionsquarefoot megaplex. While the field is somewhat controversial, with concerns over the longterm impact of manipulating molecules, investments are pouring in. In the past decade, the Albany nanocenter.
Has generated more than $28 billion in private hightech investments, creating an estimated 13,000 nanotech jobs. Shadi ShahedipourSandvik, a professor of nanoengineering at the college, says there are endless possibilities for entrepreneurs. Nanotechnology is not limited to nanoelectronics or nanocosmetics, sky is the limit. And government actually has pretty good funding in the nanotechnology areas for them, so I think opportunities are really high. Aside from government grants, much of the investment into nanotech startups comes from big industry players like IBM, Intel, and Samsung. In some cases the large corporations are exploring a potential innovation but they don't want.
Their name on it, explore it, develop it and see how it works, and maybe they will license it from them or buy the company. Entrepreneurs interested in nanotech generally have science or engineering backgrounds. Experts say startups need access to facilities and clean rooms like the ones at CNSE. Universities are very good resources for these smaller companies in terms incubators, getting space to work, or taking advantage of the graduate students or the professors to work with. It's a highly competitive field, but the future is bright for nanotech.
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