Press Releases: Research Funded by Agencies Participating in the National Nanotechnology Initiative

The following news releases describe the results of research activities that are funded by Federal agencies that participate in the National Nanotechnology Initiative.
  • July 21, 2020
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation)

    Researchers at Rice University have demonstrated that spheres made of bismuth, oxygen, and carbon wrapped with nitrogen-doped graphene oxide can inactivate multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli bacteria and degrade antibiotic-resistant genes in secondary wastewater effluent.

  • July 20, 2020
    (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation)

    Using specialized nanoparticles, MIT engineers have developed a way to monitor pneumonia or other lung diseases by analyzing the breath exhaled by the patient. In a study of mice, the researchers showed that they could use this system to monitor bacterial pneumonia and a genetic disorder of the lungs called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.

  • July 20, 2020
    (Funded by the National Institutes of Health)

    Researchers at the University of Arkansas have developed a new nano drug candidate that kills triple negative breast cancer cells. Triple negative breast cancer is one of the most aggressive and fatal types of breast cancer. The researchers linked a class of nanomaterials, called metal-organic frameworks, with the ligands of an already-developed photodynamic therapy drug to create a nano-porous material that targets and kills tumor cells without creating toxicity for normal cells.

  • July 20, 2020
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation)

    Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology have made a discovery about the fundamental chemistry of two-dimensional materials called MXenes that will change the way researchers work with them and open up new areas of applications. MXenes are ceramics that could be used in energy storage, sensing, and optoelectronics. 

  • July 20, 2020
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health)

    Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have found a new method for inducing mechanical stimulation of nerve cells in the body. The finding might offer a step toward new kinds of therapeutic treatments, similar to electrically based neurostimulation that has been used to treat Parkinson's disease and other conditions. Unlike those systems, which require an external wire connection, the new system would be completely contact-free after an initial injection of nanoparticles, and could be reactivated at will through an externally applied magnetic field.

  • July 17, 2020
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation)

    Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University have shed new light on how water interacts with graphene, a single, thin layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal honeycomb lattice. The researchers' findings could hold implications for a variety of applications, including sensors, fuel cell membranes, water filtration, and graphene-based electrode materials in high-performance supercapacitors.

  • July 16, 2020
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation)

    A Rutgers-led team has created titanium dioxide nanoparticles that exhibit unusual "blinking" behavior and may help to produce methane and other fuels. The nanoparticles stay charged for a long time and could benefit efforts to develop quantum computers.

  • July 16, 2020
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation)

    Researchers at the University of Dayton have created a less expensive 3-D printing method on the nanoscale that can manufacture nanostructures and erase mistakes. 3-D printing has been used widely by engineers and designers for years for the rapid prototyping of custom projects, but until now, 3-D printing on a nanoscale was costly, challenging, and difficult to correct manufacturing mistakes.

  • July 15, 2020
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation)

    Researchers at Texas A&M University have invented a technology that can prevent lithium batteries from heating and failing. Their carbon nanotube design for the battery's conductive plate, or anode, enables the safe storage of a large quantity of lithium ions, thereby reducing the risk of fire. The researchers said that this new anode architecture will help lithium batteries charge faster than commercially available batteries.

  • July 14, 2020
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Defense)

    Using techniques similar to those employed to develop laser-induced graphene, chemists at Rice University have turned adhesive tape into a silicon oxide film that replaces troublesome anodes in lithium metal batteries. The researchers used an infrared laser cutter to convert the silicone-based adhesive of commercial tape into the porous silicon oxide coating, mixed with a small amount of laser-induced graphene from the tape's polyimide backing. The protective silicon oxide layer forms directly on the current collector of the battery.