Week in Review: 11/8/15 – 11/14/15

November 12, 2015

Nanopores could take the salt out of seawater
MechSE professor Narayana Aluru has led a team of University of Illinois engineers in finding an energy-efficient material for removing salt from seawater that could provide a rebuttal to poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s lament, “Water, water, every where, nor any drop to drink.”

November 10, 2015

Onion-like layers help this efficient new nanoparticle glow
A new, onion-like nanoparticle could open new frontiers in biomaging, solar energy harvesting and light-based security techniques. The particle’s innovation lies in its layers: a coating of organic dye, a neodymium-containing shell, and a core that incorporates ytterbium and thulium. Together, these strata convert invisible near-infrared light to higher energy blue and UV light with record-high efficiency, a trick that could improve the performance of technologies ranging from deep-tissue imaging and light-induced therapy to security inks used for printing money.

November 9, 2015

New Technology Colors In the Infrared Rainbow
In a new study, a team lead by Maiken H. Mikkelsen, the Nortel Networks Assistant Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Physics at Duke University, demonstrates perfect absorbers for small bands of the electromagnetic spectrum from visible light through the near infrared. The fabrication technique is easily scalable, can be applied to any surface geometry and costs much less than current light absorption technologies.