Not just a “Deck”…it’s Nanotechnology!

A company called AERT (Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies Inc.) has teamed up with a local nanotechnology company, NanoMech Inc., in developing a new decking material that is expressly revolutionary.

Let’s face it, cold winters wreak havoc on house decks and they either fall apart or fade…or both. The new nanotechnology that AERT is using for its decks will enable their decks to be stronger, more fade resistant, and a better lifetime value for their customers. It’s stressed that they don’t just put on nanomaterials to coat their products but rather they use nanotechnology in the creation of the product. It’s not just a coating. Although AERT doesn’t specify what the nano materials used we feel it’s great they are utilizing technology and creating better products for the marketplace and innovation. Here is the entire article/press release if you would like to read it.


Making Hydrogen Production out of Nothing at All…

OK, I’m stealing some Air Supply feel and vibes but it’s for a good cause. Researchers at Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Labs uncovered the potential of using sub-nano sized materials to improve hydrogen energy production. Utilizing sunlight to expose it to the small metal particles a reaction occurs in the clean energy production of hydrogen that improves up to 35X the hydrogen production. We’re talking making clean energy out of water. And, by the way, the waste product of hydrogen energy is water. Ouch…that can’t be good, right?  Way to go guys!  Read the entire article here: Hydrogen Energy

Harnessing More of the Sun’s Spectrum

Researchers at MIT have a very interesting idea of utilizing elastic strain on nanomaterials to create a funnel, of sorts, that electrons and holes are electronically forced to the bottom of a funnel. A pin essentially changes the uber thin sheath of nanomaterials which changes it’s characteristics and wavelengths essentially now able to capture solar energy that is not typically visible or usable before. That invisible spectrum accounts for much of the sun’s energy. In other words, the electricity that is gained from solar power is now increased because of altering inelastic material to elastic and capturing more of the sun’s spectrum as energy.

According to the article “One of the first commercial applications of elastic-strain engineering was the achievement, by IBM and Intel, of a 50 percent improvement in velocity of electrons simply by imparting a 1 percent elastic strain on nanoscale silicon channels in transistors.”  This is an incredible breakthrough and I look forward to hearing more about this technology!

Banana Slugs 1 – Man’s Best Friend 0

The mighty researching Banana Slugs of UC Santa Barbara not only have the coolest name in collegiate sports they have created a pretty cool technology that might make the sniffer dog obsolete.

Researchers have used nanotechnology, chemistry and mechanical engineering to pull off a rather amazing product. The thumbnail sized product can detect vapors that bond with the nanoparticles and release a warning that specific vapors have been detected. This is as low as 1ppb. The minute vapors emitted that dogs can find but humans cannot detect are detected by the device and computers.

Not just amazing for what it has done, perhaps vapors emitted by breath that have cancerous or disease-like tendencies are next for what it can do. I am simply amazed by the possibilities. Here is the link to the entire article:

Diamonds are Forever???

Not only a great James Bond movie and song but now perhaps reality. Researchers at the University of Illinois, University of Pennsylvania, and Advanced Diamond Technologies Inc have created diamond tips enabled to withstand the heat and wear and tear created in the harsh thermal processing environment. The 10nm width diamond tips have been tested at scanning at contact on a surface at a distance of 1.2 meters.  Relatively no wear on the diamond tip. That’s like you and me walking around the entire earth 4 times with no measurable wear. It makes the Energizer Bunny look like a sissy.

The entire article is here.

I’m very interested in the advances of this technology and as you know…diamond nanomaterials can be found at SkySpring Nanomaterials.

MIT & Rice Develop Paper Thin Bullet Proof Armor

OK, so I talked about James Bond the other day and spy gear so in keeping with that topic Scientists from MIT look as if they developed bullet proof material made from paper thin composite nanomaterials. Here’s the “but”…they haven’t been able to reliably test such materials against projectile impacts. MIT and Rice are working together so here’s what I don’t understand. We are in Houston, just like Rice, and there is no end to the supply of guns and shooting ranges here.  We are literally tripping over them.  So to say they can’t find any means they haven’t been out of their Ivory Towers lately to get on the World Wide Web to find any.

That aside…they have tested on smaller objects that can theoretically be scaled up to do the same as a bullet or larger. Just phenomenal work as I can see this application for presidents, diplomats, soldiers, etc.  Limitless. They haven’t figured out how to stop the blunt trauma a bullet or other object would cause but I don’t think that’s their problem. Solutions will be found.  The main job of something like they have produced is to stop the bullet from penetrating vital organs and it looks they are on the path to accomplish that. Here is the entire article:

Single Walled Nanotubes take both Heat and Sunlight and Convert to Electricity

Researchers from the University of Texas Arlington and Louisiana Tech came up with a hybrid SWNT that can not only take sunlight and create electricity with it but also heat. SWNT have been used in the past to produce transparent solar cells and all-carbon solar  cells and the hybrid, although singularly does not improve upon the photovoltaic solar cells out there, but the dual purposes do. Up to 80% improvement from what the research has so far concluded.

We manufacture and sell SWNTs and MWNTs at SkySpring so this is fascinating to us. Here is the entire article for your consideration. Of course they are a long way off and perhaps early commercial use isn’t with solar power or large items but rather chips and medical devices. Regardless, it’s a fascinating look at what can be done with true synergy. Either sun nor heat along make it better…but being able to use both make it extremely powerful.

The Science of Spy

James Bond’s new action thriller, Skyfall, is now out and reported to do over $500 million at the box office already. The spy game is not only interesting on the big screen but also by the people who actually use it. Scientists recently have been able to see through walls. Using laser beams to scatter light and computers to re-model it scientists in the Netherlands have been able to “see” through frosted glass, paper, and other thin, solid material where little light emits through. They feel with advances in technology perhaps thicker and more robust materials will be able to see through as well in the next 20 years.

This type of current technology is useful for non-invasive medical imaging and in nanotechnology. Areas where diffused light is emitted but not recognizable. But, in the future, the spies might have a more powerful weapon that helps them in their craft based off of the current technology. Or, you might see it in the next James Bond move.

Nanotechnology and nanomaterials are the backbone of our company. Check us out when  you have a chance at

Butterfly Wings and Nanotechnology

Researchers at Ohio State University are experimenting with a variety of nature’s best and cleanest species. From shark, to butterfly, to fish scales and even rice leaves and see how they compare to keeping dirt off as well as reduce drag. This is, in particular, important for medical products, transportation (airline and trucking), and oil pipelines as well. The natural characteristics that each of these species have are central to their survival. If a butterfly gets dirty it can’t fly. It needs an effective means of getting the dirt off quickly.

After a dirt test, early indications show that shark skin was best at 98% washing off followed by the rice leaves at 90% and the butterfly at 85%. To put this in perspective a flat surface was only 70% clean after washing off. The composite of each of these materials make it interesting in developing inner or outer coatings of products to keep these products clean or enable drag to be reduced exponentially. Very interesting stuff for a variety of industries. The entire article can be found here.

European School of DNA Technology

Recently a new graduate school has opened in Europe called the European School of DNA Technology (EScoDNA). Different schools across Europe will have their respective first students represented for a total of 14 first year students into the exciting program.

My thoughts on this is that it gives a well-funded and structured approach to a very complex subject area. With guided focus and efforts I’m sure this new school will do very well and turn out excellent examples of a unified learning environment for Europe as well as perhaps establish a new model for other graduate schools.

At SkySpring Nanomaterials we hope the best for the European School of NDA Technology.