Aerogels: Nanotechnology to Space and Beyond

Humans have been dreaming about space travel since the early ages. As many of you recall from the opening lines of Star Trek, it has been fascinating for humanity "to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before." However, space exploration involves …

Why Shouldn’t We Toss Lithium-Ion Batteries in the Trash?

If you’re like me, you might already have a pile of old electronics in your basement, waiting for you to figure out what to do with them. You haven’t put them out with the trash, because you know it’s a good idea to keep them out of landfills… But why is that?  Researchers have known …

Mimicking Nature’s Nanotechnology: From a butterfly wing to anti-counterfeit technologies

Have you ever wondered where the inspiration behind new technologies comes from? We don’t have to go too far to find out; it is enough to just look out the window! Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. -Albert Einstein Yes, nature is out there, standing as a giant laboratory of …

Teeny Tiny Motors That Fit in Your Body

Imagine tiny gadgets wandering around in your bloodstream, travelling into your cells to seek out infections and fight diseases... Does it sound too fantastic to be true? Let’s explore just how close this science fiction scenario is to a reality. Before we get too far into this story, let’s first see where the idea of …

Turning Plastic Bags into Carbon Nanotubes

I was surprised to learn recently that plastic bags can be turned into a new material called carbon nanotubes. Prior to this, all I had heard about plastic bags was about the environmental threat that they potentially pose, either by accumulating in wildlife or clogging landfills with slow-to-break-down waste. Many recycling techniques have been developed …