Scientists develop nanophotonic 3D printing for virtual reality screens

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In Korea, scientists are turning to better ways for improving our screen time, and this means 3D printing something most of us know little about: quantum dots. Focusing on refining the wonders of virtual reality and other electronic displays even further, researchers from the Nano Hybrid Technology Research Center of Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute (KERI), a government-funded research institute under National Research Council of Science & Technology (NST) of the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT), have created nanophotonic 3D printing technology for screens. Meant to be used with virtual reality, as well as TVs, smartphones, and wearables, high resolution is achieved due to a 3D layout expanding the density and quality of the pixels.

Led by Dr. Jaeyeon Pyo and Dr. Seung Kwon Seol, the team has published the results of their research and development in “3D-Printed Quantum Dot Nanopixels.” While pixels are produced to represent data in many electronics, conventionally they are created with 2D patterning. To overcome limitations in brightness and resolution, the scientists elevated this previously strained technology to the next level with 3D printed quantum dots to be contained within polymer nanowires.

Powered by light or electricity, dots light up in an array of colors which then translate into the appropriate display. Usually, pixels are covered in a light film for creating a better display, with the ability to see images more clearly; in this research though, the KERI scientists decided to eliminate the film coating in place of a 3D structure, featuring pixels with a lateral dimension of 620nm and 10,000nm in height.

“The 3D structure enabled a 2-fold increase in brightness without significant effects on the spatial resolution of the pixels,” explained the researchers in their abstract. “In addition, we demonstrate individual control of the brightness based on a simple adjustment of the height of the 3D pixels.”

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Long narrow wires carry heat with little resistance

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Smooth-walled wire traps high energy phonons, low energy phonons carry heat.

Tiny wires may boost heat flow.

Getting rid of heat is one of the central challenges with modern technology. It doesn’t matter whether the technology is a high-end server CPU or some pathetically anemic processor in a no-brand set-top box—someone has had to think about thermal management. One of the central issues in thermal management is thermal resistance, a material’s tendency to limit the flow of heat. The thicker a material, the larger the temperature gradient required to achieve the same amount of cooling because the thermal resistance increases with thickness.

Except when it doesn’t. If the heat is carried by ballistic phonons, thermal resistance stays constant.

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Researchers observe brain-like behavior in nanoscale device

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A device like the one in the study (right), and an electron microscope image showing the device’s neuron-like arrangement of nanowires.

UCLA scientists James Gimzewski and Adam Stieg are part of an international research team that has taken a significant stride toward the goal of creating thinking machines.

Led by researchers at Japan’s National Institute for Materials Science, the team created an experimental device that exhibited characteristics analogous to certain behaviors of the brain—learning, memorization, forgetting, wakefulness and sleep. The paper, published in Scientific Reports, describes a network in a state of continuous flux.

“This is a system between order and chaos, on the edge of chaos,” said Gimzewski, a UCLA distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry, a member of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA and a co-author of the study. “The way that the device constantly evolves and shifts mimics the human brain. It can come up with different types of behavior patterns that don’t repeat themselves.”

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Salt can trigger autoimmune diseases: Study

Salt intake linked to autoimmune diseases.

In developed countries in recent decades the incidence of autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes, has spiked. Researchers describe in three studies that were published in Nature that the molecular pathways that can lead to autoimmune disease and identify one possible culprit that has been right under our noses — and on our tables — the entire time: salt.

 

 

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NASA Makes Longer, Straighter Piezoelectric Nanowires in Microgravity

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Microgravity provides nano solutions.

Piezoelectric nanowires are the stuff that make power-generating pants a possibility, and that prodigious potential has drawn the attention of NASA. You see, self-powered spacesuits are awfully attractive to our nation’s space agency, and a few of its finest student researchers have discovered that the current-creating strands of zinc oxide can be made longer and straighter — and therefore more powerful — when freed from gravity’s unrelenting pull. That means nanowires grown in microgravity could lead to higher capacity batteries and the aforementioned juice-generating interstellar garb…

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Electronic Gadgets Could One Day Be Powered By Blood Flow

Electronic Gadgets Could One Day Be Powered By Blood Flow

This image show an experimental test of piezoelectric nanowires that harness a hamster’s wheel-turning energy into usable power. 

Power generated from flowing blood, simple body movements or a gentle breeze could one day be converted to electricity to charge iPods, cell phones and other personal electronic devices.

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Nanonets Could Convert Sunlight Into Hydrogen

Nanonets Could Convert Sunlight Into Hydrogen

The top image shows a nanonet magnified 50,000 times. At bottom, a
flexible nanonet rolls up when poked by the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope.

One problem with solar cells is that they only produce electricity during the day. A promising way to use the sun’s energy more efficiently is to enlist it to split water into hydrogen gas that can be stored and then employed at any time, day or night. A cheap new nanostructured material could prove an efficient catalyst for performing this reaction. Called a nanonet because of its two-dimensional branching structure, the material is made up of a compound that has been demonstrated to enable the water-splitting reaction. Because of its high surface area, the nanonet enhances this reaction.

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