From Beer Bubbles to Nanoparticles: What is Nucleation?

beer

Yes folks, we’ve done it. You probably didn’t think we could, but we found another way to talk about beer and nanoparticles! Have you ever pondered why bubbles form and rise from the bottom of a beer glass? There is an astonishing amount of research on the bubbling or “fizzics” of beer. During the production …

Nanoparticles can stick to bacteria, but does more nanoparticle sticking mean more toxicity?

Have bacteria ever made you sick? If you answer no I’m not going to believe you. When most of us think about bacteria, we’re reminded of how miserable we were the last time we had strep throat or another bacterial illness. Of course there are many other things that can make people sick, but in …

Engineered Nanoparticles Change Shape in Soil and Groundwater

Engineered nanoparticles (NPs) are now components of thousands of consumer products, including personal care products, sporting goods, solar panels, and next-generation batteries. In fact, demand for electric car batteries (built using lithium-nickel-cobalt nanosheets) might cause lithium prices to skyrocket in the coming decade, and completely change the way in which the element lithium is recovered …

Can gold melt at room temperature? Melting temperature depression!

Gold is one of the most highly desired metals in the world. The precious yellow metal is rare in nature and has been used as a medium of currency and in the making of jewelry since ancient times (Figure 1).1 Believed to be brought to Earth by meteors, gold is truly out of this world!2 …

How can you calculate how many atoms are in a nanoparticle?

Two years ago, I wrote a blog post called Two Ways to Make Nanoparticles, describing the difference between top-down and bottom-up methods for making nanoparticles. In the post I commented, "we can estimate, knowing how gold atoms pack into crystals, that there are about 2000 gold atoms in one 4 nm diameter gold nanoparticle." Recently, a Sustainable Nano reader wrote in to ask about …

Will Ingesting Gold Nanoparticles Make Me Smarter?

“I want to ingest nanogold as an experiment to see if it really does turn your brain into a hyper processor.” - question submitted by a Sustainable Nano reader As a chemist, I cringe at the thought of drinking nanoparticles (or anything) out of a beaker in lab. In fact, my knee-jerk response to your …

How do different kinds of bacteria interact with different kinds of nanoparticles?

This post is part of our ongoing series of public-friendly summaries describing research articles that have been published by members of the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology. Vivian Feng, a chemistry professor at Augsburg College, is the first author of this paper, which was a collaboration with undergraduate and graduate students as well as other CSN …

Gold Nanotechnology Featured on Academic Minute

Last month, I was featured on The Academic Minute, a segment produced by radio station WAMC in the northeastern US. The Academic Minute presents 300-word essays by professors and academics around the world explaining research topics for a non-specialist audience. In my case, that topic was gold nanotechnology. This opportunity arose when I received an …

Designing a Simple, Easy-to-Build Reactor for Making Nanoparticles

This post is part of our ongoing series of public-friendly summaries describing research articles that have been published by members of the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology. Sam Lohse, the first author on this paper, was a post-doctoral student at the University of Illinois and is now an assistant professor at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, CO. He …