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News stories relating to Nanotechnology as it relates to free/renewable energy technologies. This separate news page was commenced Oct. 22, 2010.




  • Nanotech / Solar / Piezoelectric >
    Using Nanotechnology to Capture the Energy Around Us - Dr. Zhong Lin Wang, Professor from the Georgia Institute of Technology, has developed a way to harness both sunlight and small movements in the same hybrid cell. To construct a nanogenerator, Wang grew a vertical array of microscopic zinc oxide (ZnO) wires on a flat base. On top of this, he placed an electrode with multiple pointed peaks that give it a “zig-zag” appearance. (PureEnergyBlog; May 19, 2013)


  • Nanotech / Solar >
    A Nano-Approach to Solar Rivals the Entire Market - A small team of experts at Magnolia Solar have come together to develop a nanostructure-based coatings to replace silicon and thin-film approaches. They are working on a concept that would allow for the full absorption of all light, boasting efficiencies of 15 to 20 percent as low as 50 cents per watt. (EnergyDigital; March 19, 2012)


  • Nanotech / Solar > Solar Paint > Quantum Dots >
    Researchers develop paint-on solar cells - A team of researchers at the University of Notre Dame have developed an inexpensive solar paint that uses semiconducting nanoparticles to produce energy. "By incorporating power-producing nanoparticles, called quantum dots, into a spreadable compound, we've made a one-coat solar paint that can be applied to any conductive surface without special equipment." (PhysOrg; December 21, 2011)
  • Nanotech > Motors >
    World's smallest electric motor made from a single molecule - Chemists at Tufts University's School of Arts and Sciences have developed the world's first single molecule electric motor, a development that may potentially create a new class of devices that could be used in applications ranging from medicine to engineering. (PhysOrg; September 4, 2011)
  • Solar / Nanotech > R&D >
    MIT: Get Lots of Solar Energy in a Little Light - Researchers at MIT will use a way to concentrate sunlight so they can get a more powerful solar energy -- up to 100 times than current traditional photovoltaic cells. They use a solar funnel with carbon nanotubes - hollow tubes made of carbon atoms to capture and focus light energy. The drawback is the price of carbon nanotubes. (Solar Energy Utilize; January 11, 2011)


  • Nanotech / Lighting >
    Gold nanoparticles turn trees into streetlights - Yen-Hsun Su of Academia Sinica in Taiwan implanted gold nanoparticles into Bacopa caroliniana plants and found that, when exposed to high wavelength ultraviolet light, the gold nanoparticles can produce a blue-violet fluorescence that triggers a red emission of the surrounding chlorophyll. (GizMag; Nov. 11, 2010)
  • Big Brother / Nanotech / Batteries > Li-ion >
    Batteries smaller than a grain of salt - Research funded by DARPA is pushing the limits of this technology and trying to create some of the tiniest batteries on Earth, the largest of which would be no bigger than a grain of sand. These tiny energy storage devices could one day be used to power the electronics and mechanical components of tiny micro- to nano-scale devices. (Physorg; October 19, 2010)
  • Nanotech / Storage > Batteries > Li-ion >
    Paper-Thin Batteries Provide Bendable Power - New carbon nanotube-based technology could literally allow companies to paint layers of electricity-holding lithium-ion on standard pieces of paper. The new batteries, which are just 300 μm thick, are thinner and more flexible, and they exhibit higher energy density and other electrical advantages, compared with other types of thin batteries. (Chemical & Engineering News; Sept. 20, 2010)
  • Nanotech / Biomimetics / Solar >
    Plant-Mimicking Solar Cells Can Self-Assemble - Scientists at MIT have created a breakthrough solution to one of the biggest problems facing solar cells by mimicking the world's best harvesters of solar energy: plants. Over time, sunlight breaks down the materials in solar cells, leading to a gradual degradation of devices aiming to harvest the energy in that light. Plants don't have this problem. (EcoGeek; Sept. 7, 2010)
  • Nanotech / Solar > Thin Film >
    Transparent Solar Spray Transforms Windows Into Watts - Norwegian Company EnSol AS has developed a remarkable new spray-on solar film that allows windows to generate solar power without clouding the view. The material consists of metal nanoparticles embedded in a transparent composite matrix that can be easily sprayed on. And the cells don’t just work on glass — they can be used on the rest of the house, too! (Inhabitat; Aug. 10, 2010)
  • Nanotech / Batteries >
    Carbon Nanotube Batteries Pack More Punch - Carbon nanotubes are attractive materials for battery-making because of their high surface area, which can accept more positive ions and potentially last longer than conventional batteries. Instead of this design, researchers at MIT have introduced something new — using chemically modified carbon nanotubes as the positive ion source themselves. (Science; June 20, 2010)


  • High-Performance Thermoelectric Capability in Silicon Nanowires - Researchers have shown that the thermoelectric properties of silicon—a material that can be processed on a large scale but has poor thermoelectric properties—can be vastly improved by structuring it into arrays of nanowires and carefully controlling nanowire morphology and doping. (Green Car Congress; Jan. 11, 2008)


  • New Solar Panel Design Traps More Light - A new solar panel design at Georgia Tech features an array of nano-towers -- like microscopic blades of grass -- that add surface area and trap more sunlight. The team is working on the voltage end of the equation to make the 60-x increase in current meaningful. (PhysOrg; Apr. 11, 2007)


  • The Nanopowers of Spinach - Ohio University physicists have developed a complex nanobiological switch using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to image chlorophyll-a and then inject it with a single electron to manipulate the molecule into four positions. The researchers say this biological switch might be used in future applications for green energy, technology and medicine. (Slashdot; Sept. 9, 2006)
  • MIT researchers introduce nanotech battery - Nanotube ultracapacitors would store energy on atomic level, providing what is said to be the first technologically significant and economically viable alternative to conventional batteries in more than 200 years. (PESN; Feb. 9, 2006)
  • First solar-powered nano motor - When one of the dumbbell's stoppers absorbs sunlight, it transfers an electron to one of these ports of call, driving the ring to then shuffle over to the other station. The ring returns to the old site after the electron transfers back to the stopper, allowing the cycle to begin all over again. (PhysOrg; Jan. 24, 2006)
  • Nanobatteries Power Artificial Eyes - A team of researchers at Sandia National Laboratories is developing a nano-size battery to be implanted in the eye to power artificial retina. Applications also include nanomedical devices based on natural and synthetic ion transporters. (Sandia; Jan. 12, 2006) (See Slashdot discussion)


  • Nanotechnology for Recovery and Reuse of Spilled Oil - The recent hurricane Katrina disaster has included significant oil spills. Interface Science Corporation has announced that the company is launching its proprietary oil remediation and recovery application. (PhysOrg; Sept. 9, 2005)
  • Method slashes quantum dot costs by 80 percent - Scientists at Rice University have developed a new method of replacing the pricey solvents used in fluorescent quantum dot synthesis with cheaper oils that are commonplace at industrial chemical plants. (EurekAlert; Sept. 7, 2005)
  • Inexpensive oxidation catalyst could reduce diesel emissions - A new application of silver hollandite could make a big impact in diesel emissions control, according to researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, who have developed an inexpensive method of synthesizing nano-sized silver hollandite. (EurekAlert; Aug. 31, 2005)
  • New Source of Energy Using Nanotechnology - Solid state energetic material consisting of fuel and oxidizer creates high amounts of mechanical and thermal energy which can be converted energy into electrical energy using the thermoelectric and piezoelectric conversions. (PhysOrg; Aug. 15, 2005)
  • Purdue simulation to help merge molecules with silicon electronics - Engineers at Purdue University have created a nanotech simulation tool that shows how current flows between silicon atoms and individual molecules to help researchers design "molecular electronic" devices for future computers and advanced sensors. Details are appearing in the current issue of Physical Review Letters. (EurekAlert; Aug. 15, 2005)
  • $2 Billion Market in Nanopore - Sponges with pores only nanometers in diameter could help lead to advanced fuel cells in hydrogen-powered cars, as well as super-coolants to keep perishable drugs fresh and devices to clean out toxins in the body. (PhysOrg; July 15, 2005)
  • Nanotechnology holds promise for new hydrogen fuel technologies - Jin Zhang, of the University of California, to receive $535,000 in grants from the U.S. DOE for two research projects aimed at developing new technologies for the production (solar hydrogen) and storage (hydrates) of hydrogen fuel. (PhysOrg; June 29, 2005)
  • A giant step toward tiny functional nanowires - Northwestern University chemists have developed a new method that can routinely and cheaply produce nanowires with gaps as small as five nanometers wide. (EurekAlert; June 29, 2005)
  • Going nano boosts thermoelectrics - International team of university researchers have come up with a designed that could increase maximum efficiency from today's 10% to 50%, whereby dissimilar metal heating/cooling generates electricity. (ZPEnergy; May 27, 2005)
  • Quantum dot materials can reduce heat, boost electrical output - "Nanocrystals," also known as "quantum dots," produce as many as three electrons from one high energy photon of sunlight. In comparison today's photovoltaic solar cells produce less than one electron, the rest is lost as heat. (PhysOrg; May 23, 2005)
  • 'Metal-decorated' nanotubes hold hydrogen - New quantum calculations and computer models show that carbon nanotubes "decorated" with titanium or other transition metals can latch on to hydrogen molecules in numbers more than adequate for efficient hydrogen storage. (PhysOrg; May 4, 2005)
  • Energy, Farms, Water Seen Aided by Nanotechnology - energy storage, production and conversion would be the top use of nanotechnology in a decade, including more efficient solar cells, hydrogen fuel cells and new hydrogen storage. (Reuters; April 13, 2005)
  • Toshiba's New Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Recharges in Only One Minute - A breakthrough technology applied to the negative electrode uses new nano-particles to prevent organic liquid electrolytes from reducing during battery recharging. The nano-particles quickly absorb and store vast amount of lithium ions, without causing any deterioration in the electrode. (; March 29, 2005)
  • Nanotechnology could promote hydrogen economy - Researchers at Rutgers impose a finely textured surface on the metal iridium creating millions of pyramids with facets as tiny as five nanometers across, onto which ammonia molecules can nestle like matching puzzle pieces for complete and efficient decomposition. (PhysOrg; March 29, 2005 / Journal of the American Chemical Society, April 20, 2005)
  • Moving electrons at the molecular and nonometer scales - Learning how to control the movement of electrons on the molecular and nanometer scales could help scientists devise small-scale circuits for a wide variety of applications, including more efficient ways of storing and using solar energy. (PhysOrg; March 14, 2005)
  • Method Captures, Converts Heat - Using extremely thin nanowires could more than doubles the efficiency of thermoelectric materials, enabling a more effective capturing of thermal sources such as the waste heat in a car or geothermal heat. (PhysOrg; March 31, 2005)
  • Carbon Nanotube Enhanced Ultracapacitors - Our analysis shows that the utilization of a matrix of vertically aligned Carbon Nanotubes as electrode structure, can lead to an ultracapacitor characterized by a power density greater than 100kW/kg (three orders of magnitude higher than batteries), a lifetime longer than 300,000 cycles, and an energy density higher than 60Wh/kg.

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