Molecular music: Patterns of vibrations at the quantum level

Hearing of the fire at Notre Dame de Paris a year ago broke my heart. I have only been there once in my life, but that visit is one of my most cherished memories. Before studying chemistry and joining the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology, I earned a music education degree, with a major in voice …

New Nanomaterial for Increased Energy Efficiency – Friday Video

A research group at Drexel University has developed a set of material that show promise in increasing the energy storage capacity and charge/discharge speeds of lithium ion batteries. Batteries with greater storage capacity could be used to decrease the weight and energy efficiency of electric cars, for example. These materials consist of stacked sheets that are just …

How do Lithium Ion Batteries Work? A Nanotechnology Explainer.

During a recent visit to Home Depot I came face to face with a lithium-ion battery, nanotechnology, and my interest in making a wooden-framed mirror. I had my eyes on some shiny, new Dewalt power tools. I decided that it would be much easier to build a wooden frame with a high quality drill and …

Liquor Aging, Tiny Barrels, and Next Generation Solar Cells

"You've gotta give it a taste to know!" answered the long-haired, cowboy shirt-wearing distiller dude at Madison, Wisconsin's Old Sugar Distillery. He was responding to my incessant questions about how long their liquors take to age. His answer was interesting, but I wanted numbers! After some more pointed questions, he told me that most of their liquors …

What Does Sustainable Have To Do With Nano?

Sustainability is a hot topic these days, even making its way into advertisements for one of the world’s biggest companies (see below). I would guess that on this very day, you have thought about sustainability, or at least encountered the idea. Maybe you saw a commercial that told you to “go green”, or read an …