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12-01 :: January 2012

nanotimes News in Brief

Professors Amos Nussinovitch and Jaap van Rijn from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have developed a novel low-tech solution to take nitrates out of water in a cost-effective, environmentally friendly and non-toxic way. The technology was launched at the WATEC water conference in Tel Aviv in November 2011.

http://israel21c.org/environment/bio-filter-blasts-ni- trates-out-of-the-water

http://www.huji.ac.il/huji/eng/ http://www.watec-israel.com/

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thod: A flexible microcapsule filled with a solution of nanoparticles would be applied to a damaged surface; it would then repair defects by releasing nanoparticles into them. Using nanoparticles and droplets of oil stabilized with a polymer surfac- tant – compounds that lower the surface tension of a liquid – the UMass team actualized the theory, showing that these microcapsules found the cracks and delivered the nanoparticle contents into them. Balazs proposes that manufacturers use this method as a last step in the building process.

“The repair-and-go method can extend the lifetime of any system or device,” she said. “Additionally, it could be used as a repair method after a crack has been found.”

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass, USA) propose a “repair-and-go” approach to fixing malfunctions caused by small-surface cracks on any digital device or part before it hits store shelves.

“Anything that’s a machine with a surface is affected by these small-scale cracks,” said Anna Balazs, Di- stinguished Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering in Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering and coinvestigator on the project. “These are sur- faces that play a role in almost anything, especially functionality.”

The Pitt-UMass research team approach was inspi- red by the ability of white blood cells in the body to heal wounds on-site. Balazs and Pitt colleagues first came up with a theoretical “repair-and-go” me-

Scott R. White & Philippe H. Geubelle: Self-healing ma- terials: Get ready for repair-and-go, In: Nature Nano- technology, Vol. 5(2010), Pages 247-248, DOI:10.1038/ nnano.2010.66:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2010.66

A confocal microscope with a STED setup was built at the Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw, using commercially available elements. The grea- test problem was to ensure that both laser beams overlapped. The prototype microscope at FUW has a resolution of about 100nm, over two times higher than that of a standard confocal microscope. The aim is to reach a resolution of about 60nm.

http://www.fuw.edu.pl

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