With Elon Musks launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket, a new step has been taken into the space age. Using reusable rockets, the cost or getting to space have decreased significantly from 20,000 for the space shuttle to 2500 dollar per kilo for the Falcon Heavy.
Over the years, many ideas have been proposed to get into space easier and cheaper. One of them is to construct a space elevator that would bring us to space for 100 dollar per kilo. It was proposed by a Russian scientist back in 1895. The simplest form consists of a cable and an elevator. The cable should be attached to Earth on one end and the other end should have a counter weight in space. To prevent gravity from pulling the cable back to Earth, the counter weight should be further away from geosynchronous orbit. The rotation of the Earth and the centrifugal force can keep the cable straight.
Up to now, this has not been implemented, mainly because there is no material strong enough to withstand the forces involved. If the 40,000 km long cable cable would snap, it would come crushing down on Earth. With the advent of nanomaterials, it looks like this problem could finally be solved. Graphene’s incredible strength and low weight could potentially be used to construct such a cable. While some nanomaterials are produced at the nano scale, this application would really push the limits of mass production of nanomaterials.
Material Scientist @VSPARTICLE
We (as humankind) have for the first time spotted an object from interstellar space. It is a cigar shaped piece of material 800 meters long and with a diameter of 80 meters. If gives off red light suggesting organic chemicals on its surface. This and the exponentially increasing detection of planets around other stars, this shows that although we believe to know so much we actually have explored so little. I believe that this is also the case for VSPARTICLE and the possibilities that we can open up by structuring material at the nanoscale.
In a small laboratory, not far from southern California’s Pacific coastline, Dmitri Lapotko is using lasers to conduct on-demand explosions on a scale almost infinitely small.
Researchers from the University of Konstanz have been able to make EuO nanotubes. This was especially challenging for magnetic semiconductors because it combines nanostructuring with a specific shape, introducing anisotropy. In magnetic materials, anisotropy can lead to new magnetic properties and this is exemplified in this material. In this case, the nanotubes showed different magnetic properties and new magnetic phases were detected. By combining experimental data with theoretical calculations, the researchers were able to identify antiferromagnetic vortex states. This is an interesting example that shows that nanoparticle shape control can help in finding and using new properties for instance in spintronics.
The growing demand for prevention of microbial and fungal infection in hospitals coupled with high sensitivity and calibration exhibited by silver nanoparticle enhanced equipment are likely to be the contributing factors responsible for the growth of silver nanoparticles market over the forecast period. Electronics was the second largest application segment in the silver nanoparticles market share and is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period. Increase in demand for products having higher operational and shelf life, high processing capability and enhanced functional properties is expected to fuel the growth of the silver nanoparticles market over the forecast period
This reserach could make fuel-cells more durable and cheaper by adding some nanoparticles to the proton-exchange membrane that are itself coated with ~5nm WC-nanoparticles. This new catalyst replaces Pt, which is way more expensive than WC, and it also has some additional benefits over Pt.
The answer to the growing, worldwide food production problem may have a tiny solution—nanoparticles, which are being explored as both fertilizers and fungicides for crops.
As part of a recent investigation, scientists from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Materials and Manufacturing Directorate used the National Light Synchrotron II at Brookhaven National Laboratory. The facility was used to understand the effect nano-fillers have on structural bonding between layers of 3D printed material, with the aim of understanding if the materials would make 3D printing more suitable for USAF applications in the field.
A group of researchers led by Neetu Singh from Centre for Biomedical Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi has demonstrated a simple concept for achieving controlled and sustained release of drugs using the nanoparticle system.
Picture Credits: A Keene, USFDA/Wikimedia Commons
Ming Ma (TU Delft PhD-student) has found out how to effectively and precisely control the process of electroreduction of CO2 to produce a wide range of useful products, including alcohol.
Researchers from the University of Nebraska and from the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Chemistry have, by using nanoparticles, found a way to force ice crystals' growth to stick minimally to the underlying surface. By applying a coating made of these nanoparticles on car-windows and aircraft wings, de-icing them could get much easier.
Researchers from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have created an innovative electrocatalyst with the ability to directly convert carbon dioxide into alcohols and multicarbon fuels with the need for very low energy inputs.
CREDIT: Dohyung Kim/Berkeley Lab.
Dr Michelle Moram of Imperial College London explains what might be possible with the development of a periodic hyper table - and asks us to imagine what materials we could design, with exactly the properties we desire.
'Basic research scientists who invented something are not the best judges of where it is useful.'
Professor Brus of Columbia University talks about the invention of quantum dots.
As a society, we are still relying heavily on conventional fuels. One of the side-effects of using these fuels is the production of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide or CO2. A solution to this problem could be to store it, but it would be much better to convert it back into fuel. Read Maurits' story on how VSPARTICLE can help on our blog...
The Dutch prime minister Mark Rutten has visited China some weeks ago to strengthen the relationship between our countries, and because China is HOT!During a recent trip to China with Yes!Delft Incubator, I also had an up close experience with the Chinese way of doing business. I visited companies founded within the past few years that now make billions in revenue. They share one secret: go where the demand is. Read more on our blog
VSPARTICLE from Delft developed a machine that can break materials down to the atomic level and rebuild them in a matter of minutes. This can drastically increase the rate of development of new nanomaterials. However, the demand is currently coming from the academic world, and that world is unpredictable. Read more on our blog
Delft, 14 februari 2018 – VSPARTICLE, de Delftse Startup die met hun machines een revolutie in nanotechnologie mogelijk maakt, ontvangt een investering van Invaco Management, het investeringsvehikel van offshore ondernemer Keesjan Cordia.
Delft, February 14, 2018 - VSPARTICLE, the Delft start-up enabling a revolution in nanotechnology through their innovative machines, receives an investment from Invaco Management, the investment vehicle of Dutch off-shore entrepreneur Keesjan Cordia.
Beijing/Delft, November 16, 2017 – Delft University of Technology spin-off VSPARTICLE enters the booming Chinese market with a radical technology that allows researchers to produce nanoparticles at the push of a button. VSPARTICLE’s nanoparticle generator uses atoms, the worlds’ smallest building blocks, to provide a controllable source of nanoparticles. The start-up from Delft signed a distribution agreement with Bio-Sun to make their VSP-G1 nanoparticle generator available in China.
Organised for the first time in 2016, the advanced materials competition is a program in which high-tech start-ups spend two weeks in Berlin to accelerate their projects, find potential partners, and make meaningful connections. As it is a competition, a total prize pool of €15.000 was to be won by the participating start-ups. The ‘best in class’ award of €2.500 was won by vsparticle!
Scientists all over the world are looking for solutions to the issues mankind is facing: climate change, the increase of human population, a desire for higher standards of living, etc. One of the trends they are contributing to is the macroscopic shift from a fossil fuel based economy towards a sustainable and carbon neutral one. More and more scientists are exploring the possibilities of nanoparticles to create novel materials supporting this shift. Unfortunately this process is slowed down because people are struggling with the first step: getting the right building blocks.