Nanorobots can play nanosoccer and a whole lot more

In the excitement of the FIFA World Cup last summer, I found myself asking, “does soccer relate to nanotechnology in any way?” After doing some research, my honest answer is, not really. However, while doing my research, I did discover that researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology are playing “nano soccer games” to …

Hidden Life in Pond Water

While a tablespoon of pond water might look quite devoid of life, a closer look reveals quite the opposite. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIMJWWpOrjw Though they may be difficult to spot with the naked eye, that doesn't mean they're not important or amazing. Here are some of the amazing critters shown in that video and some interesting facts about each. …

A Boy and His Atom: The World’s Smallest Movie – Friday Video

This amazing movie was made using a microscope that can visualize atoms at 100 million times magnification. This microscope, known as a scanning tunneling microscope, can also move atoms around. For more, see Bob's post about Heinrich Rohrer, the late nobel prize winner who helped design the scanning tunneling microscope. Using this type of microscope, scientists …

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 …

Nature’s nanotechnology, bio-mimicry, and making the superpowers of your dreams a reality

Only over the past 20 years have we begun to harness the unique properties of nano-scale materials, while nature has been using nano- “technology” since the beginning of time to prevent infections, repel water, create colors, and climb vertical surfaces.  Inspired by nature’s advances, scientists and engineers are generating biomimetic applications for nanotechnology in today’s …

Surfing Particles: taking a ride using living cell machinery

Some cells in our body have elongated structures or microvilli at their surface. These microvilli have many functions that help the cell to survive, and some features that make them act like train tracks that shuttle substances along them. We recently captured a movie of nanoparticles hitching a ride on these cellular train tracks. Nanoparticles …

Fluorescent Nanodiamonds – the movie!

Nanodiamonds are far too small to be seen by the naked eye, but everything changes if you make them glow! We at the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology have developed a new way to make nanodiamonds absorb and then release light—a property known as fluorescence (see this explainer post). I just made these fluorescent nanodiamonds and …