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.


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!

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.

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.

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.

Fireflies to the Rescue

I’m not bragging but I have a 65″ HD TV at home. It was the first or second generation…I think the first HD generation if memory serves me correctly. The darn thing is longer than my wife is tall!  Well, the TV is great but it’s getting old. We got a great deal on it about seven years ago from one of those scratch and dent places. The only thing better than the TV was that the delivery guys carried it upstairs to the TV room for me. It saved me downtime the hernia and surgery to repair it would have caused.  It has a lot of glare and is a lot bigger than the ones you find at the electronic stores today. OK, I digress…Korean researchers have gone back to the drawing boards on LED TVs to find out how to make their LEDs better. What better to research than nature’s own self-illuminating creature…the Firefly. First of all, Fireflies are pretty cool. People aren’t afraid of them and I can’t remember ever getting bit by a Firefly (Deerflies are another subject).

The Korean researchers used nanotechnology to identify how the Fireflies utilize their given exoskeleton as they are certainly the most efficient givers of light since the sun. By analyzing the three distinct areas of the Firefly’s belly the researchers are able to construct an LED that emits 98% more light. This enables the LED to be more efficient including a better picture as well as eliminating the need for the costly glare protection on the LED lenses. A total win/win solution thanks to our little friends the Fireflies and the nanotechnology tools. The article I found this information on is located here.

Quantum energy, anyone???

OK, I’m not talking about Scott Bakula as Dr. Sam Beckett here (for you Quantum Leap TV show fans). I’m talking about Quantum Energy. I’m talking textiles. And I’m talking now.

To quote the article “The company has developed powder and cream-type substances by grinding the natural ore called Five-Colored Earth, mixing it with water and ripening the mix. The new material created through the process generates quantum energy.”

The company is called, interestingly enough, Quantum Energy Co. The CEO, Mr. Lee Jong-doo, believes the textiles created have medicinal purposes as well strengthening red blood cells and helping the blood get rid of impurities. Not only does Mr. Lee Jong-doo believe this, but the scientist conducting the research studies at Seoul National University.

Products created from Quantum Energy are also in cosmetics and bath products as well. The product scope seems to have expanded as the benefits are not only for textiles and textile wearers.