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Worldwide Campaign to stop the Abuse and Torture of Mind Control/DEWs

The House Science and Technology Committee introduced a bill Jan. 15 about the need to strengthen federal efforts to better comprehend the potential environmental, health and safety effects of nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology receives $1.5 billion annually in federal research funding, said representatives of the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, an initiative launched by the Woodrow Wilson International Center and the Pew Charitable Trusts in 2005.

The new bill, H.R. 554, is nearly identical to legislation that passed the House last year. The Senate was expected to come up with similar legislation, but lawmakers ran out of time.

The introduction of the bill comes a few months after former Environmental Protection Agency official J. Clarence "Terry" Davies wrote a report that made a series of recommendations for improving federal risk research and oversight of engineered nanomaterials at EPA, the Food and Drug Administration and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The report, titled "Nanotechnology Oversight: An Agenda for the Next Administration," makes proposals for how Congress, federal agencies and the White House can improve oversight of engineered nanomaterials. The report was sponsored by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies.

"We know that when materials are developed at the nanoscale that they pose potential risks that do not appear at the macroscale," said David Rejeski, PEN's director. "This new bill shows that lawmakers recognize both nanotechnology's enormous promise and possible problems. The legislation reflects mounting Congressional interest in understanding potential risks in order to protect the public and to encourage safe commercial development and investment."

 

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NANO WEAPONS.... THE NEW AGE OF DIRECT ENERGY WEAPONS

This is what everybody fears. Nanotech has the potential to create truly awful new weapons: weapons that can replicate, attack anything on the molecular scale, penetrate any macroscopic defense.
Fortunately, so far their development has been slow since current nanotech still has trouble with the things that could create truly devastating weapons. But most people in the know expect that this will change; the field advances every day and sooner or later nanotech weaponry will become a major danger.

The simplest form of nanoweapon is nanofactured ordinary weapons. With a MC it is trivial to build a knife or a gun. They can even be improved slightly by better materials, but they remain knives and guns. Of course, anybody who has encountered the Tessin Fractal Special may disagree.

The next level is radical improvements on old systems. Nanoexplosives are an example: by building explosives from the bottom up it is possible to create truly powerful explosives that no sniffers (yet) recognize. D4 from N Conspiracy is the only nanoexplosive whose recipe is sold on the Market. It looks like an ordinary plastic explosive,
but is close to the theoretical limits of what a chemical explosive can do. However, making explosives is usually extremely energy intensive, and most MCs fail at that unless given specialized feedstocks.

Trillicon Arms is an endless source for more or less bizarre designs for nanotech improved weapons, ranging from diamondoid bullets to knives with active edges. Few have been used in practice; they aren't worth the trouble, and nobody would like the police or public to find them. But that doesn't deter the intrepid designers, who regularly
announce yet another bizarre weapon on SubNet.

The cutting edge is nanite weapons. Since nanites currently do not survive well in the environment or the body they are limited, but the potential is awesome, especially if they can be made to replicate.

http://www.nada.kth.se/~asa/InfoWar/nano.html
Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Can Induce Pulmonary Injury in Mouse Model
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nl0723634
Carbon nanotubes are a nanomaterial that is extensively used in industry. The potential health risk of chronic carbon nanotubes exposure has been raised as of great public concern. In the present study, we have demonstrated that intratracheal instillation of 0.5 mg of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) into male ICR mice (8 weeks old) induced alveolar macrophage activation, various chronic inflammatory responses, and severe pulmonary granuloma formation. We then used Affymetrix microarrays to investigate the molecular effects on the macrophages when exposed to SWCNT. A biological pathway analysis, a literature survey, and experimental validation suggest that the uptake of SWCNT into the macrophages is able to activate various transcription factors such as nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) and activator protein 1 (AP-1), and this leads to oxidative stress, the release of proinflammatory cytokines, the recruitment of leukocytes, the induction of protective and antiapoptotic gene expression, and the activation of T cells. The resulting innate and adaptive immune responses may explain the chronic pulmonary inflammation and granuloma formation in vivo caused by SWCNT.
Nanoparticles let scientists tickle brain cells wirelessly
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/indepth/innovation/s/cbc/090225/science/ca...

PRINCE.EDWARD.ISLAND (CBC) - Using electrical signals to stimulate brain and nerve cells can help people recover from injury and improve the lives of those with Parkinson's disease, but often requires the surgical implantation of electrodes in the brain, which are attached to cumbersome wires.
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A group of scientists in Cleveland , Ohio , has now found a new method that could one day allow doctors to activate neurons brain or nerve cells wirelessly using microscopic beads and light.

So far, Case Western Reserve University neuroscientist Ben Strowbridge, chemist Clemens Burda, and members of their research groups have tried their technique on slices of rat brain tissue and published the results in a recent issue of the journal Angewandte Chemie.

The method involves placing beads about 10 nanometres wide far smaller than human cells close to a neuron. A human hair is about 80,000 nanometres wide.

The beads are made of semiconductors that get electrically excited when light shines on them.

"Essentially, these are the same particles used to sensitize solar cells," Burda said.

The illuminated particles produce an electric field or current that activates the neurons, which respond with their own measurable electrical signals.

In Strowbridge and Burda's experiments, the nanoparticles were attached to a very small glass micropipette to make it easier to position the particles, but ultimately the researchers hope to be able to place a layer of particles on the brain.

The technique has a number of advantages over current methods to electrically stimulate the brain, Strowbridge said.

Current methods involve surgery, a much larger metal electrode, typically one with a contact about one millimetre one million nanometres in diameter. It is hooked up to wires that come out of the brain or skin and are attached to a control unit.

"It's very invasive and the wires themselves are difficult to deal with," Strowbridge said. In addition, current methods involve stimulation at only one or two sites at a time.

With a layer of nanoparticles, the light, and therefore the activation, could be directed to different areas.

"There's really no other technology that can do that with this degree of control or spatial resolution."

If the nanoparticles were placed near the surface of the skin, it is possible that they could be activated by shining a light through the skin. Otherwise, a fibre optic cable could be used to deliver the light.

Strowbridge and Burda chose to use very small particles in an effort to make them as uninvasive as possible. Ultimately, they plan to coat them with a biocompatible glass to ensure they are non-toxic.

The technique still needs to be refined and tested on actual rat brains and nerves before it can be applied to humans.
Experts say Canada requesting companies report use of nanomaterials
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/indepth/innovation/s/capress/090128/health...
By John Cotter, The Canadian Press

EDMONTON - Canada is poised to become the first government in the world to require companies to provide information about their use of potentially harmful nanomaterials in products, experts say.

The information gleaned from the request is to be used to evaluate the risks that these ultra-tiny materials pose to the health of people and the environment.

The move by Canada , expected to be announced next month, would be a significant step for consumer and environmental protection, said Andrew Maynard, chief science advisor for the Washington, D.C.,-based Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies.

"People and the environment are being increasingly exposed to new nanomaterials, yet governments lack information on the type, quantity and possible risks of nanoscale materials being manufactured and used in products," Maynard said Wednesday.

"This is information that is vital to ensuring the safe use of nanotechnology."

Officials at PEN said the Canadian government wants companies to supply information on the quantity of engineered nanomaterials they are using, how they are using them and how toxic they are.

Environment Canada would not comment directly on the organization's claims.

Department officials said the plan is to send a notice out that requires companies and institutions that used more than one kilogram of nanomaterials in 2008 to provide information to the government. The request could include how nanomaterials are used or managed, data on physical or chemical properties and any other information that could help Ottawa assess the substances.

"The notice for nanomaterials will gather information that will be used towards the development of a regulatory framework and will target companies and institutions that manufactured or imported a total quantity greater than 1 kg of a nanomaterial during the 2008 calendar year," said an email response from Environment Canada.

Officials said this request for information under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act does not require companies to submit information beyond 2008. However, Ottawa could make similar requests for such information in the future.

It is estimated that more than 800 consumer products containing nanomaterials are being sold around the world.

Scientists say if developed safely, the practice of creating new products by manipulating molecular-sized matter could bolster the economy and improve our quality of life.

The particles are used in everything from anti-bacterial ceiling paint and medical bandages to toothpaste and cosmetics.

But some studies suggest that some nanomaterials can act like cancer-causing asbestos. Some nanoparticles also generate cell activity that can alter DNA.

Last month federal officials said regulating the safety of such products is a priority and that new policies may be necessary to keep pace with advances in nanotechnologies.

Maynard was a member of an expert panel that submitted a report to Health Canada last July that said Ottawa urgently needs to assess the potential risks of nanomaterials. It also called on the federal government to bolster its regulatory system to deal with them.

Ottawa has yet to respond to that report.

Currently there are no nanomaterial-specific regulations in effect in Canada .

Dr. Pekka Sinervo, former chairman of Canada 's expert panel on nanotechnology, said the federal government has been negotiating with private industry for more than a year on how to best regulate nanomaterials.

The challenge is to come up with a system that balances the need to develop nanotechnology while at the same time protecting health and safety.

He said if Canada takes action, it would be a big step forward.

" Canada is taking a leadership role in trying to manage responsibly an emerging technology. And that is actually good news," Sinervo said in an interview from Israel .

"The very best thing that could happen is if there is a co-ordinated response internationally. If there isn't, it will be a struggle to get compliance."

Word that Canada plans to take action follows the release of a report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that said a program where companies were asked to voluntarily submit information on nanomaterials wasn't very successful.

Colin Finan, a spokesman with PEN, said there is hope that other countries may follow Canada 's lead.

"The problem is in the U.S. we have had a voluntary program that was supposed to provide the government with more data to better understand the risks and there has been very little participation," Finan said.

"This could get the ball rolling on the U.S. doing the same. On Europe . Japan . Any other nation."
Canadian nano researchers create quantum dots that could lead to faster computers
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/indepth/innovation
By The Canadian Press

EDMONTON - Canadian researchers have made a breakthrough that could lead to computers that are faster, use less energy and operate at cooler temperatures.

Scientists at the National Institute for Nanotechnology in Edmonton say they have come up with a new way to control electrons using ultra-tiny single-atom quantum dots.

The dots are composed of a single atom of silicon measuring less than one nanometre in diameter - that's one-billionth of a metre.

Project leader Robert Wolkow said the research will be key to developing new forms of silicon-based electronic devices such as ultra-low power computers.

The research is to be published Friday in a scientific journal call Physical Review Letters.

"Nanoparticles are everywhere."
"They're in sunscreens, food, paint, cosmetic. They help deploy airbags, control video game movements. ..
It is the science of the super tiny, where particles are manipulated using light, chemical reactions, even water.
How small is tiny? Stack 100,000 nanometers one on top of the other and you'd have the thickness of a piece of paper."
Mar 27, 2007
http://nanotechweb.org/cws/article/tech/27433
Remote-controlled nanocomplexes
Designing active nanostructures whose form and properties can be changed remotely is an important challenge in nanoscience. Now, researchers in the US have developed two types of biological nanoparticles complexes, made of nanoshells and quantum dots, that can be controlled by near-infrared light. The result could be used to actuate devices in difficult to access locations, such as inside the body, and to make photothermally-driven devices and switches.
Nanotechnology will likely raise serious challenges to the protection of individual privacy. Nanotechnology has the capability of dramatically enhancing surveillance devices.[4] As nanotechnology makes computing devices smaller and more powerful, collecting, storing, sharing and processing large amounts of information will become easier and cheaper.[5] The tiny size of observation devices, such as cameras and microphones, will make their detection considerably more difficult by the individual being surveyed. Miniaturization and pervasive networking of information-gathering systems will also pose acute obstacles to methods of control and data protection.[6]
Nanotechnology evokes the potential for privacy invasion on the most intimate levels. For instance, nano- and microelectronic systems are able to interface directly with the nervous systems of biological organisms, controlling movement and behavior. The United States military and associated institutions currently conduct such research on insects, embedding them with optical and audio sensors, GPS and the means to relay information back to those in control. Known as the HI-MEMS project, the goal is to create tiny, relatively inexpensive, remote-controlled cyborg spies.[7]

Nanotechnology has a broad range of health-related applications. Among these is the “lab on a chip” device, in which miniscule analyzers examine biological tissue to rapidly compile comprehensive personal diagnoses. Such systems, under development at MIT and funded by the U.S. military, could perform hundreds of chemical analyses, such as warning of contagion on a battlefield, or screening DNA for genetic disorders.[8]

Forensic science is also receiving an upgrade from nanotechnology. A process developed by UK-based Roar Particles utilizes nanoparticles and advanced spectrometry to analyze fingerprints in great detail. The technique can reveal if fingerprint bearers use illegal or prescription drugs, or if they have handled explosives. If the prints leave behind skin particles, the system can provide a DNA profile. Roar Particles is refining its technology to identify ethnicity, gender and diet. The process is currently being piloted with police forces in Australia and Singapore.[9]

Nanotechnology will also enhance information security methods. As nanotechnology enables quantum computing,[10] stronger cryptographic techniques will become available. On the other hand, stronger de-cryptographic tools will become available as well. Today’s most commonly utilized cryptographic method, the Public Key system or RSA encryption, will be rendered o­­­bsolete with the advent of the quantum computer.[11]

Numerous calls for ethical oversight and regulation of nanotechnology have been issued, though most are focused on the environmental effects of nanoparticles.[12] In 2004, the Commission of the European Communities released a report in which it emphasized adherence to ethical principles such as individual autonomy and protection of privacy and personal data.[13] The Commission’s report stated that appropriate, timely supervision is essential, as is increasing public awareness regarding nanotechnology to ensure a measured regulation.[14] Similarly, the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) 2004 Strategic Plan recommended the federal government support public education, as well as address health, environmental and privacy concerns stemming from disbursement of nano-based sensors.[15]

Nanotechnology does not pose new privacy problems so much as it exacerbates old ones. Questions concerning consent, access and control over the information involved already arise in the context of contemporary technologies. In its 2006 report, UNESCO stated that nanotechnology’s relationship with privacy, secrecy, and consumer protection overlap with existing discussions; thus nanotechnology ethics should not start from scratch but should build on these ongoing debates.[16]

Likewise, existing laws could address many of these problems. The European Commission’s report, for example, noted that privacy, security and dignity principles implicating nanotechnology are already embodied in international documents like the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.[17] What remains is for these principles to be enforced through regulation.[18] Nonetheless, most governing bodies seem to be at a stage where they are still researching the likely effects of nanotechnology on society.

http://www.privacyinternational.org/article.shtml?cmd[347]=x-347-559083
reliable info about nanotechnology
Supposedly, smart dust was developed for military application to be able to locate where soldiers were. BOLDING MINE. kg
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/print/79572/Smart_Dust?taxon...

Smart Dust
Mighty motes for medicine, manufacturing, the military and more
Thomas Hoffman

March 24, 2003 (Computerworld) Picture being able to scatter hundreds of tiny sensors around a building to monitor temperature or humidity. Or deploying, like pixie dust, a network of minuscule, remote sensor chips to track enemy movements in a military operation.

"Smart dust" devices are tiny wireless microelectromechanical sensors (MEMS) that can detect everything from light to vibrations. Thanks to recent breakthroughs in silicon and fabrication techniques, these "motes" could eventually be the size of a grain of sand, though each would contain sensors, computing circuits, bidirectional wireless communications technology and a power supply. Motes would gather scads of data, run computations and communicate that information using two-way band radio between motes at distances approaching 1,000 feet.

Potential commercial applications are varied, ranging from catching manufacturing defects by sensing out-of-range vibrations in industrial equipment to tracking patient movements in a hospital room.

Design Impasse

Still, for all the promise, there are a number of technical obstacles to widespread commercial adoption. For instance, researchers are wrestling with design challenges in fusing MEMS and electronics onto a single chip, says Gary Fedder, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and robotics at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Fedder, a co-founder of Carnegie Mellon's MEMS Laboratory, has been trying to tackle these development issues through new fabrication and design techniques, but he acknowledges that the lab has quite a bit of work ahead of it.

"The paradigm has been to have a single engineer be the champion of these systems and fuse it all together to make a [single] chip. That requires a superhuman effort," says Fedder. The lab has been developing design tool technology to aid the engineers who may ultimately design these kinds of systems, he says.

What makes all this effort worthwhile is a growing feeling among researchers that these technologies may eventually have a huge impact on society. That also helps explain why the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency began funding aspects of this work at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1998.

The goal for researchers is to get these chips down to 1mm on a side. Current motes are about 5mm, says Kristofer Pister, professor of electrical engineering at UC Berkeley, who's been working with smart dust since 1997.

Pister is on sabbatical from the university until early 2004 at Dust Inc., a Berkeley-based developer of peer-to-peer wireless sensor networks. Dust's charter is to give developers hardware and software interfaces "that are stable, reliable and low cost," he says.

The cost of motes has been dropping steadily. Prices range from $50 to $100 each today, and Pister anticipates that they will fall to $1 within five years.

He sees a plethora of potential commercial applications for smart dust, including serving as traffic sensors in congested urban areas and monitoring the power consumption of household appliances to determine whether they're operating at peak efficiency.

Pister and others are quick to point out that the size of these micromachines presents thorny power supply challenges. Ideally, researchers and commercial contractors want to be able to deploy wireless motes that aren't tethered to power sources, and many of the systems being tested or in use today rely on miniature battery power.

"You've got this limited pile of energy in your battery, and you need to distribute that out and make it last," says Mike Horton, CEO of Crossbow Technology Inc., a San Jose-based maker of MEMS technologies whose customers include a cosmetics company that uses wireless sensors to gauge humidity levels in its warehouses for moisture-sensitive products. "You can plug it into the wall, but that kind of defeats the purpose of these autonomous sensors."

Breakthroughs Expected

Researchers are attacking the problem in part by focusing on so-called low-power ad hoc routing protocols, which figure out how to get a message from one mote to another using the least amount of energy. Research on this kind of power has been emerging over the past two years at UC Berkeley, MIT and the University of California, Los Angeles.

"We haven't found a one-size-fits-all approach yet," Horton says. Still, he believes two near-term technical breakthroughs for these wireless sensors in the areas of power and size are poised to occur. The first involves paring the several semiconductors needed today to operate these motes down to a single semiconductor, a development Horton foresees occurring about two years from now.

On the power side, Horton points to research by UC Berkeley's Shad Roundy on fuel cells that can "scavenge" energy to make smart-dust devices run longer. This includes drawing off the ambient vibration energy generated by an industrial machine or gathering energy from low levels of light. These scavenger energy technologies might be five years off, Horton says.

While researchers and commercial developers are agog over the potential applications for smart dust, they're also careful to point out the design and power issues that still need to be resolved. Says Fedder, "There are a lot of people champing at the bit to commercialize this technology, but the technology still has to mature, and widespread use is still several years off."
Nanotechnology's road to artificial brains
Submitted by George Overmeire on Mon, 04/26/2010 - 09:47
http://www.transhumanisme.nl/node/84

Via NanoWerk:

(Nanowerk Spotlight) If you think that building an artificial human brain is science fiction, you are probably right – for now. But don't think for a moment that researchers are not working hard on laying the foundations for what is called neuromorphic engineering – a new interdisciplinary discipline that includes nanotechnologies and whose goal is to design artificial neural systems with physical architectures similar to biological nervous systems.
One of the key components of any neuromorphic effort is the design of artificial synapses. The human brain contains vastly more synapses than neurons – by a factor of about 10,000 – and therefore it is necessary to develop a nanoscale, low power, synapse-like device if scientists want to scale neuromorphic circuits towards the human brain level.
Bron: Scientists use nanotechnology to try building computers modeled after the brain.

Maar nu blijkt dat ook de zgn "memristor" de werking van biologische synapsen kan emuleren.

A memristor is a two-terminal electronic device whose conductance can be precisely modulated by charge or flux through it. Here we experimentally demonstrate a nanoscale silicon-based memristor device and show that a hybrid system composed of complementary metal−oxide semiconductor neurons and memristor synapses can support important synaptic functions such as spike timing dependent plasticity. Using memristors as synapses in neuromorphic circuits can potentially offer both high connectivity and high density required for efficient computing.)

Bron: Nanoscale Memristor Device as Synapse in Neuromorphic System.

These findings show that it is now possible to build a brain-like computer using electronic components, namely, transistors and memristors. The key is to realize the similarity between synapses and memristors.
Nano and Microtechnologi science Brain-Computer-Interface
Post by Annie Svensson on November 29, 2010 at 5:07am
Neural Science

Popular ScienceParalyzed people who are able to move again. Pain relief without side-effects. Parkinson patients without debilitating shakes. These are visions that the NRC hopes to realize through research.

The NRC is a cross-disciplinary center within the area of Brain-Machine Interface (BMI) and is coordinated by Jens Schouenborg, professor in Neurophysiology. The goal is to develop a whole new generation of BMI, new electrodes which can be operated into the brain and spinal cord. The electrodes will be able to communicate without wires with an external computer and thereby supply information to and from the nerve cells. The new electrodes will be used for studies in learning mechanisms, for treatment of paralyzed patients and patients with Parkinsons disease, for controlling prostheses and for pain relief. Other areas where the technique can be used are for example auto-medicating of epilepsy, improving memory functions and bladder control.

It is our hope that patients will be able to benefit from this research within the near future, in approximately 5-10 years. The benefits for the individual will naturally be very great, but the expected social economic savings will be substantial with the new technology.



About NRCVision
To improve quality of life for disabled people and individuals with neurodegenerative disease by listening to, understanding and talking to the nervous system by means of a neuroelectronic junction.

Aim
The aim is to develop a brain-computer interface (BMI) that enables recording from and/or stimulation of neurones in animals and eventually in humans. By allowing both recordings and stimulations, direct brain – computer interactions will be possible. This will allow for groundbreaking and pioneering basic research in :

fundamental neuronal mechanisms related to learning and memory
information processing in neuronal networks

The following researchers participate in the NRC.

Faculty of Medicine:
Jens Schouenborg (Neurophysiology)
Martin Garwicz (Neurophysiology)
Nils Danielsen (Neural Interfaces)
Angela Cenci-Nilsson (Parkinson Research)
and Göran Lundborg (Hand Surgery)
Nanoelectrodes-in Swedish
Posted by Annie Svensson on November 29, 2010 at 5:17am

Soon the computers are able to speak with our nerves. Scientists in Lund (Sweden) are creating electrodes, so tiny that they can be put directly in the brain and the central neural system without any disturbance in the tissue. Like minirobots in the bloodflow.

The electrodes will show how the memory is working and hopefully will in the future be able to help and maybe cure braindamages from different traumas. The neuralsamples are grown on nanowires and tiny electrodes are made,that then put in brain or central neural system, will be able to receive and send signals wireless. Since electrical pulses are the natural way for the central neural system to communicate, the neuralcells are able to "talk" with computers outside the body. It will make it possible to see how the brain is handle all the information given. And in the future to solve problems with for instance neurological illness and chronical pain syndroms.

To start with the nanoelectrodes will be tested in brains on animals, mainly rats, to registrate the signals to computers in their natural inviorment, to see how the are developing, learning and so on, for instance the longterm memory is an interesting issue, everbody knows how hard it is to learn new tasks after too little sleep or too much alcohol, says scientist Jens Shouenborg. Since the nanoelectrodes are so tiny, even smaller than the neuralcells themself,they wouldn´t show up even in a michroscope. The receiver then could be put in the scullbone.
Also for the future there are plans on trying the nanoelectrodes on people with depressions, and then be able to stimulate the emotional parts of the brain.

Ethical question are raised, Jens Schouenborg compares the situation with when the stamcell discussion were on call, in the beginning of that sciencearea. To work with the huge power technical potential that IBM is offering, then of course the ethics must be considered.

Note: The article is from a Medical & Science newspaper, published by the Swedish Science Committé.
Energy Harvesting: Nanogenerators Grow Strong Enough To Power Small Conventional Electronic Devices
November 9, 2010
http://www.electronicsweb.com/article.mvc/Energy-Harvesting-Nanogen...

Blinking numbers on a liquid-crystal display (LCD) often indicate that a device's clock needs resetting. But in the laboratory of Zhong Lin Wang at Georgia Tech, the blinking number on a small LCD signals the success of a five-year effort to power conventional electronic devices with nanoscale generators that harvest mechanical energy from the environment using an array of tiny nanowires.

In this case, the mechanical energy comes from compressing a nanogenerator between two fingers, but it could also come from a heartbeat, the pounding of a hiker's shoe on a trail, the rustling of a shirt, or the vibration of a heavy machine. While these nanogenerators will never produce large amounts of electricity for conventional purposes, they could be used to power nanoscale and microscale devices – and even to recharge pacemakers or iPods.

Wang's nanogenerators rely on the piezoelectric effect seen in crystalline materials such as zinc oxide, in which an electric charge potential is created when structures made from the material are flexed or compressed. By capturing and combining the charges from millions of these nanoscale zinc oxide wires, Wang and his research team can produce as much as three volts – and up to 300 nanoamps.

"By simplifying our design, making it more robust and integrating the contributions from many more nanowires, we have successfully boosted the output of our nanogenerator enough to drive devices such as commercial liquid-crystal displays, light-emitting diodes and laser diodes," said Wang, a Regents' professor in Georgia Tech's School of Materials Science and Engineering. "If we can sustain this rate of improvement, we will reach some true applications in healthcare devices, personal electronics, or environmental monitoring."

Professor Zhong Lin Wang holds an earlier version of the nanogenerators developed using zinc oxide nanowires. (Click image for high-resolution version. Credit: Gary Meek)

Recent improvements in the nanogenerators, including a simpler fabrication technique, were reported online last week in the journal Nano Letters. Earlier papers in the same journal and in Nature Communications reported other advances for the work, which has been supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Air Force, and the National Science Foundation.

"We are interested in very small devices that can be used in applications such as health care, environmental monitoring and personal electronics," said Wang. "How to power these devices is a critical issue."

The earliest zinc oxide nanogenerators used arrays of nanowires grown on a rigid substrate and topped with a metal electrode. Later versions embedded both ends of the nanowires in polymer and produced power by simple flexing. Regardless of the configuration, the devices required careful growth of the nanowire arrays and painstaking assembly.

In the latest paper, Wang and his group members Youfan Hu, Yan Zhang, Chen Xu, Guang Zhu and Zetang Li reported on much simpler fabrication techniques. First, they grew arrays of a new type of nanowire that has a conical shape. These wires were cut from their growth substrate and placed into an alcohol solution.

In a new technique for producing nanogenerators, researchers transfer vertically-aligned nanowires to a flexible substrate. (Courtesy of Zhong Lin Wang)

The solution containing the nanowires was then dripped onto a thin metal electrode and a sheet of flexible polymer film. After the alcohol was allowed to dry, another layer was created. Multiple nanowire/polymer layers were built up into a kind of composite, using a process that Wang believes could be scaled up to industrial production.

When flexed, these nanowire sandwiches – which are about two centimeters by 1.5 centimeters – generated enough power to drive a commercial display borrowed from a pocket calculator.

Wang says the nanogenerators are now close to producing enough current for a self-powered system that might monitor the environment for a toxic gas, for instance, then broadcast a warning. The system would include capacitors able to store up the small charges until enough power was available to send out a burst of data.

While even the current nanogenerator output remains below the level required for such devices as iPods or cardiac pacemakers, Wang believes those levels will be reached within three to five years. The current nanogenerator, he notes, is nearly 100 times more powerful than what his group had developed just a year ago.

Writing in a separate paper published in October in the journal Nature Communications, group members Sheng Xu, Benjamin J. Hansen and Wang reported on a new technique for fabricating piezoelectric nanowires from lead zirconate titanate – also known as PZT. The material is already used industrially, but is difficult to grow because it requires temperatures of 650 degrees Celsius.

In the paper, Wang's team reported the first chemical epitaxial growth of vertically-aligned single-crystal nanowire arrays of PZT on a variety of conductive and non-conductive substrates. They used a process known as hydrothermal decomposition, which took place at just 230 degrees Celsius.

In an improved technique for fabricating nanogenerators, researchers transfer vertical arrays of nanowires to a flexible substrate. (Credit: Inertia Films)

With a rectifying circuit to convert alternating current to direct current, the researchers used the PZT nanogenerators to power a commercial laser diode, demonstrating an alternative materials system for Wang's nanogenerator family. "This allows us the flexibility of choosing the best material and process for the given need, although the performance of PZT is not as good as zinc oxide for power generation," he explained.

And in another paper published in Nano Letters, Wang and group members Guang Zhu, Rusen Yang and Sihong Wang reported on yet another advance boosting nanogenerator output. Their approach, called "scalable sweeping printing," includes a two-step process of (1) transferring vertically-aligned zinc oxide nanowires to a polymer receiving substrate to form horizontal arrays and (2) applying parallel strip electrodes to connect all of the nanowires together.

Using a single layer of this structure, the researchers produced an open-circuit voltage of 2.03 volts and a peak output power density of approximately 11 milliwatts per cubic centimeter.

"From when we got started in 2005 until today, we have dramatically improved the output of our nanogenerators," Wang noted. "We are within the range of what's needed. If we can drive these small components, I believe we will be able to power small systems in the near future. In the next five years, I hope to see this move into application."

SOURCE: Georgia Institute of Technology Research News

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It is the time of year ...It is August, the period of purchasing from college provides and upgrading wardrobes, however for faculty freshmans it is more like going to a completely different age in life therefore the typical tweaks in clothes and book bag materials simply aren't going to reduce it. One thing new and parents faculty students need to remember is they need don't go overboard. It is a classic error that you just look back and realize exactly how many things you may have done…See More
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Profile IconViktor Karadzhov, Diane Shively and Serene Banks joined Peacepink
9 hours ago
Music Teacher posted blog posts
10 hours ago
Music Teacher posted a status
"Don't let bitter unhappy people drag you down , they may judge you, misunderstand you and gossip about you but their opinion isn't you!"
11 hours ago
Franco Villa replied to Franco Villa's discussion Chloridic acid hidden in radiators.
"Coranavirus is not a virus, they are still the damned heaters used as a weapon. Of course I'm afraid to see a bunch of innocent people being brutally killed."
17 hours ago
Franco Villa replied to Franco Villa's discussion Chloridic acid hidden in radiators.
"If you want to play war, do it among yourselves. Don't get me in the way too, I don't care. I just want to live the love that has always been prevented me. By now I think an atomic will come to me at any moment. I hope at least in sleep."
19 hours ago
Franco Villa replied to Franco Villa's discussion Chloridic acid hidden in radiators.
"Health is everyone's good, you put it on your head. Help me to spread the problem of radiators and which unfortunately are used as a weapon."
20 hours ago
Franco Villa replied to Franco Villa's discussion Chloridic acid hidden in radiators.
"Now someone has understood after it ends on the home page that what I write is true?"
20 hours ago

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