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Using nanomaterials to step into the space age

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.


Maurits Boeije

Material Scientist @VSPARTICLE



NanoFARM: Using nanoparticles to grow food

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.

US air force: 3D printing and nano-fillers to improve bonding between layers

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.

Indian researchers are trying to an engineer effective drug delivery system through nanoparticles

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

TU Delft researcher makes alcohol out of thin air

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.

Flowers for de-icing windows

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.

Efficient Conversion of CO2 into Fuels Via Copper Catalyst

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.



New materials science

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.

The invention of quantum dots

'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. 

vsparticle 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. 

Klik hier voor het volledige persbericht!

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.

Click here the read the entire press release!

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.

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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! 

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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. 

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Last week the hDMT (human Disease Model Technologies) matchmaking event took place. 
In an inspiring environment researchers and companies in this sector pitched their problems and possible solutions, looking for partners and potential collaborations.

Click here to read the full blog post