Nanoparticle Assembly: Expanding the Realm of the Possible

Nanoparticle Assembly: Expanding the Realm of the Possible

emerging technologies, Materials Science
JACS Spotlights Feb. 22, 2022 Nanoparticles assemble themselves into a multitude of compositions and structures, and the range of possible applications appears almost limitless. Robert Macfarlane and co-workers give an overview of the history and current state of nanoparticle assembly research, focusing on assembly approaches and emergent properties of the resulting materials and summarizing future directions and challenges (DOI: 10.1021/jacs.1c12335). The simplest assembly process, uncontrolled aggregation of nanoparticles into disordered clusters or films, is used on an industrial scale to produce coatings. Supramolecular assembly techniques (in various stages of development) direct nanoparticles to form ordered patterns, self-healing nanocomposites, vesicles, micelles, or thin films. Light, magnetic fields, or biomolecular templates can direct nanoparticles to produce even more complex structures. The resulting materials interact with light, electrons, and magnetic fields in ways…
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Artificial intelligence for real-world mechanical systems

Artificial intelligence for real-world mechanical systems

emerging technologies, Materials Science
Artificial intelligence offers a wealth of resources for solving complex problems, but accurate predictions and understandable results still require human participation.TLT Feature February 2022 Artificial intelligence offers a wealth of resources for solving complex problems in mechanical friction and wear--helicopter transmissions and gears that are deep inside large machines, for example. Accurate predictions and understandable results still require human participation, including assembling and curating databases in a form that AI can use. TLT February 2022
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Bacteria Become Tiny Catalytic Synthesis Vessels

Bacteria Become Tiny Catalytic Synthesis Vessels

emerging technologies, processes
/JACS Spotlights Jan. 26, 2022 Artificial metalloenzymes, made from protein scaffolds incorporating synthetic metal complexes, combine the versatility of transition-metal catalysts with the shape selectivity of enzymes. Until now, getting the metal complex into the cell has been difficult, and the reactivity of artificial enzymes in living cells has been limited. John Hartwig and colleagues use living cells of EcN, a non-pathogenic strain of E. coli, as reaction vessels to assemble artificial metalloenzymes that catalyze further chemical reactions (DOI: 10.1021/jacs.1c10975). An iridium-containing porphyrin enters the bacterial cells from the growth medium via a chromosomally encoded outer-membrane transporter. The resulting enzyme catalyst drives site-selective, enantioselective carbene insertion into benzylic C–H bonds. The authors also identify a new transporter that is more efficient at taking iridium porphyrins into the cell cytoplasm than…
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The electric vehicle grease industry finds its bearings

The electric vehicle grease industry finds its bearings

emerging technologies, energy
Evolving grease formulations help smooth the transition toward electric vehicles. TLT November 2021 Electric vehicles don't require gasoline, but they do require grease. Existing greases are OK for windshield wipers, door hinges, and window winder mechanisms, but the bearings and gears in the drive train are a different story. High operating temperatures and voltages are key concerns. As current densities increase, so does the risk of stray currents that can pit bearings. Typical electric motor speeds, currently around 15,000 rpm, are expected to exceed 20,000 rpm in the near future. /
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The brave new world of electric vehicle fluids

The brave new world of electric vehicle fluids

emerging technologies, energy
Electric vehicle fluids differ in fundamental ways from those used for internal combustion engines—and from each other. TLT October 2021 • Electric vehicle (EV) transmission fluids, which multitask as lubricants and coolants, are likely to be formulated as vehicle design elements, with fill-for-life applications in mind.• EV fluid formulations may help dissipate stray electrical currents, and they must be compatible with the copper wiring and polymer seals and insulators with which they come into contact. • Thermal management fluids for battery and power electronics systems are an active area for development.
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Solid coatings: Not just for space vehicles anymore

Solid coatings: Not just for space vehicles anymore

emerging technologies, Materials Science, Uncategorized
Solid coatings enter the marketplace TLT October 2020 Solids provide lubrication and wear protection for an increasing number of applications. TLT October 2020 Solid lubrication and wear reduction coatings were once the purview of NASA and companies in the aerospace industry. Now, they are showing up in an increasing number of applications here on the ground. The component materials for these coatings come from all over the periodic table. “Even with a relatively small number of materials, once you mix three or four things together, the matrix of what you can do is just immense,” says STLE-member Jeff Lince, principal at Space Tribology Consulting. Varying the coating’s morphology—amorphous or crystalline, macrocomposites, nanocomposites—creates even more options. Some coatings interact with their surrounding environments and each other to form tribofilms or nanoparticles…
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Touring a Green Building

Touring a Green Building

emerging technologies, energy, environment, Uncategorized
This afternoon, I joined the Earth Ethics Committee of the Washington Ethical Society and friends for a tour of the Camille Kendall Academic Center of the Universities at Shady Grove (Rockville, MD). When this building received a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification, it was the largest building ever to receive this designation. The building is one of three main academic buildings on this suburban campus, which serves as a branch location for nine Maryland universities. Students at USG specialize in one of several career-oriented programs geared toward meeting the needs of regional businesses. One of the first things you notice as you enter is the terrazzo glass flooring, made from blue and green recycled glass and concrete. Just off the lobby is a cafe. The catering…
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Energy and the Environment: Global Issues, Local Actions

Energy and the Environment: Global Issues, Local Actions

conference report, emerging technologies, energy, environment, issues in the news, legal issues, legislation, public perceptions, regulations
by Nancy McGuire, Wordchemist.com A newly assertive federal executive branch, push-back from the legislature and judicial system, unintended effects of social activism, unanticipated effects of leaking storage tanks and Arctic thaws, who's using coal, reasons to "go green" that don't involve tree-hugging — 2014 will have no shortage of news stories on energy and the environment, according to a panel of seven journalistic prognosticators. On January 24, the panel gathered at Washington, DC's, Wilson Center to brief an overflow crowd of interested policy wonks, issue advocates, writers and reporters, and other interested citizens on the likely hot topics in environment and energy for 2014. The annual event, co-sponsored by the Global Sustainability and Resilience Program, the Canada Institute, the Science and Technology Innovation Program, and the Society of Environmental Journalists,…
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Where Do We Go From Here?

Where Do We Go From Here?

emerging technologies, legal issues, public perceptions
Last in a three-part series on unmanned vehicles (see Part 1 and Part 2) At present, unmanned aerial vehicles — "drones" in popular parlance — are used for military surveillance and strikes, civilian environmental and wildlife monitoring, and scientific research purposes. Private citizens use remotely operated toy airplanes and helicopters for entertainment, and sometimes to spy on their neighbors. ("So This Is How It Begins: Guy Refuses to Stop Drone-Spying on Seattle Woman" by Rebecca J. Rosen, The Atlantic, May 13, 2013) "What we don't have now is tabloid paparazzi drones chasing celebrities, pizza delivery drones enticing packs of dogs Pied Piper-like down the street, or advertising drones cluttering the night sky. This could change after September 2015, the deadline is given in the 2012 FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) Modernization…
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