nanomaterials

Energy from floating ceramic nanomats? Yessir

Using ceramic nanomaterials to produce energy is a million-dollar idea, according to the National Science Foundation. Well, a $935,056 idea, anyway. That’s the size of the NSF grant just awarded a joint Stony Brook University/Brookhaven National Laboratory effort to produce a commercially viable, nano-manufactured “photocatalytic blanket.” A photocatalyst is a substance that encourages light-driven chemical reactions without itself being altered, such as chlorophyll in the photosynthesis process. Led by Pelagia Gouma, a professor in the university’s…


At BNL, big ideas come from thinking really small

By GREGORY ZELLER // And you thought only children built with blocks. Brookhaven National Laboratory scientists do, too – only their blocks are about one-billionth of a meter long and are held together by synthetic DNA strands. And it’s not actually the scientists doing the building, but the blocks themselves: Those strands, while much shorter than the twisted-ladder chains comprising, say, human cells, are encoded with instructions that enable the nanoparticles to “self-assemble.” Mind blown…