|Berkeley Lab Scientists Achieve Breakthrough in Nanocomposite for High-Capacity Hydrogen Storage
Scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have designed a new composite material for hydrogen storage consisting of nanoparticles of magnesium metal sprinkled through a matrix of polymethyl methacrylate, a polymer related to Plexiglas.
This pliable nanocomposite rapidly absorbs and releases hydrogen at modest temperatures without oxidizing the metal after cycling - a major break-through in materials design for hydrogen storage, batteries and fuel cells.
|New Technique Produces Structures with Metallic Properties 
A new "templated growth" technique for fabricating nanoribbons of epitaxial graphene has produced structures just 15 to 40nm wide that conduct current with almost no resistance.
The new fabrication technique allows production of epitaxial graphene structures with smooth edges. Earlier fabrication techniques that used electron beams to cut graphene sheets produced nanoribbon structures with rough edges that scattered electrons, causing interference.
The resulting nanoribbons had properties more like insulators than conductors.
|Producing Water in an Emergency 
Chemistry researchers at McGill University, Canada, have taken a key step towards making a cheap, portable, paper-based filter coated with silver nanoparticles to be used in emergency settings.
"Silver has been used to clean water for a very long time. The Greeks and Romans kept their water in silver jugs," says Prof. Derek Gray, from McGill's Department of Chemistry. But though silver is used to get rid of bacteria in a variety of settings, from bandages to antibacterial socks, no one has used it systematically to clean water before. "It's because it seems too simple," affirms Gray.
|Nanomaterials in Construction 
A recent paper published in ACS Nano reviews state-of-the-art applications of manufactured nanomaterials used in construction, suggests likely environmental release scenarios, and summarizes potential adverse biological and toxicological effects and their mitigation.
Shaily Mahendra, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at UCLA's Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, collaborated on the research with Pedro Alvarez, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rice University, USA.
|Mini Disks for Data Storage - Slanted Edges Favor Tiny Magnetic Vortices 
Slanted exterior edges on tiny magnetic disks could lead to a breakthrough in data processing.
"By this, structures are created which were impossible in the past;" explains Jeffrey McCord, a materials researcher at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Germany. The doctoral candidate Norbert Martin produced the slanted edges in a lab experiment; thus, creating magnetic vortices with a diameter of only one third of a thousandth of a millimeter. This could help to store larger amounts of data on increasingly smaller surfaces with as little energy as possible.
Tiny magnets organize themselves in vortices in the researchers' mini disks. The individual magnets can twist either in a clockwise or a counterclockwise direction in the disk. These two different states can be used in data processing just like switching the electricity "on" and "off" in conventional computers.
In contrast to conventional memory storage systems, these magnetic vortices can be switched by the electrons' intrinsic spin and with far less power consumption.
|Silicon Chip "Replaces" Rare Earths 
Rare earths are an expensive and necessary component of strong permanent magnets. However, their use for this purpose can be optimised and thereby reduced.
This has been demonstrated in computer simulations by a Special Research Program funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF.
The results show that such magnets may contain local deformations in the crystal lattice of the material. These deformations are above all located at the boundary of material grains. According to the calculations of the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences, the magnetic force of the material is weakened in these areas. This could be avoided by optimising the material structure, which would save resources by reducing the amount of rare earths required.
|Bi2Te3-based TE Nanocomposites 
Thermoelectric (TE) materials can be used to directly convert between heat and electricity through the Seebeck effect and Peltier effect. They usually act as solid state refrigerators and heat pumps without moving parts and environmentally harmful fluids.
Bismuth telluride (Bi2Te3) based alloys are one of the most excellent TE materials at room temperature, used commercially for refrigeration and temperature control in fields such as beverage coolers and laser diode coolers.
The TE figure of merit (ZT) of commercial Bi2Te3-based alloys is only about 1.0. To increase the efficiency for widely practical applications, materials with higher ZT are desired to be explored.
|Companies - P2i 
Aridion™, P2i's revolutionary liquid repellent nano-coating technology for consumer electronics, will soon be available to high-volume mobile handset manufacturers with the launch of the first high-capacity Aridion™ processing machine at Mobile World Congress.
The Aridion™ 400 applies an invisible nanoscopic polymer layer to fully-assembled handsets using a special pulsed ionized gas (plasma), which is created at room temperature within a vacuum chamber. The plasma penetrates the phone - both internally and externally - dramatically lowering its surface energy, so that when liquids come into contact with it, they form beads and simply roll off. The result is a dramatic reduction in corrosion and electrochemical migration, even after shower, salt-fog and water submersion testing.
|Companies - IBM 
IBM's (NYSE: IBM) announcement of the first biodegradable nanoparticles that can seek out and destroy drug-resistant bacteria caps off a century of healthcare and life sciences innovation from IBM.
Scientists from IBM Research announced ground breaking early research discovering new types of nanoparticles that are physically attracted like magnets to MRSA cells, ignoring healthy cells completely and targeting and killing the bacteria by poking holes in its walls.
This discovery could greatly improve the effectiveness of medication. This innovation is just one example of IBM's ability to use principles and technologies from computing, physics, materials science and chemistry to advance the science of medicine.
|Companies - 
1366 Technologies Inc.
3M / Hybrivet Systems Inc.
aap Implantate AG
Advanced Diamond Technologies (ADT)
Akzo Nobel N.V.
Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs
ALPS ELECTRIC EUROPE
Altair Nanotechnologies Inc.
ASELTA Nanographics / CEA-Leti
Bayer MaterialScience / Hyperion Catalysis International
BioSante Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
CVD Equipment Corporation
Dow Chemical Company
E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company, Inc.
E Ink Holdings
EPIR Technologies, Inc.
Industrial Nanotech, Inc.
ItN Nanovation AG
KINAXO Biotechnologies GmbH
Liquidmetal Technologies Inc.
MKS Instruments, Inc.
Nanoco Group plc
NanoString Technologies, Inc.
Nanosurf / Zurich Instruments
Oxford Medical Diagnostics (OMD)
Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd. / Accelrys
RainDance Technologies, Inc. / Ambry Genetics
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
TOK / CEA-Leti
Yissum Research Development Company / Vaxan Steel Co.
Veeco Instruments Inc.
Vistec Lithography Inc.
WITec True Surface Microscopy