Jun 2014, Volume 9 Issue 3

Cover illustration

  • Silicon is an attractive material for anodes in next-generation Li batteries, because it possesses ten times the theoretical capacity of the state-of-the-art carbonaceous counterpart. The cover illustrates the five generations of nanostructured Si anodes developed in Yi Cui’s laboratory: nanowires, core-shell nanowires, hollow nanospheres, double-walled nanotubes, and yolk-shell nanoparticles. These nanoscale structure designs have increased the capacity, prolonged the [Detail] ...

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  • Special Issue: Nanoscience and Emerging Nanotechnologies (Edited by C. M. Lieber)
    Yu-Liang Zhao, Yan-Lin Song, Wei-Guo Song, Wei Liang, Xing-Yu Jiang, Zhi-Yong Tang, Hong-Xing Xu, Zhi-Xiang Wei, Yun-Qi Liu, Ming-Hua Liu, Lei Jiang, Xin-He Bao, Li-Jun Wan, Chun-Li Bai

    Fast evolving nanosciences and nanotechnology in China has made it one of the front countries of nanotechnology development. In this review, we summarize some most recent progresses in nanoscience research and nanotechnology development in China. The topics we selected in this article include nano-fabrication, nanocatalysis, bioinspired nanotechnology, green printing nanotechnology, nanoplasmonics, nanomedicine, nanomaterials and their applications, energy and environmental nanotechnology, nano EHS (nanosafety), etc. Most of them have great potentials in applications or application-related key issues in future.

  • Special Issue: Nanoscience and Emerging Nanotechnologies (Edited by C. M. Lieber)
    Neil P. Dasgupta, Peidong Yang

    Semiconductor nanowires (NW) possess several beneficial properties for efficient conversion of solar energy into electricity and chemical energy. Due to their efficient absorption of light, short distances for minority carriers to travel, high surface-to-volume ratios, and the availability of scalable synthesis methods, they provide a pathway to address the low cost-to-power requirements for wide-scale adaptation of solar energy conversion technologies. Here we highlight recent progress in our group towards implementation of NW components as photovoltaic and photoelectrochemical energy conversion devices. An emphasis is placed on the unique properties of these one-dimensional (1D) structures, which enable the use of abundant, low-cost materials and improved energy conversion efficiency compared to bulk devices.

  • Special Issue: Nanoscience and Emerging Nanotechnologies (Edited by C. M. Lieber)
    Shuo Li(李硕), Yi-Fan Dong(董轶凡), Dan-Dan Wang(王丹丹), Wei Chen(陈伟), Lei Huang(黄磊), Chang-Wei Shi(石长玮), Li-Qiang Mai(麦立强)

    Nanowires are promising candidates for energy storage devices such as lithium-ion batteries, supercapacitors and lithium-air batteries. However, simple-structured nanowires have some limitations hence the strategies to make improvements need to be explored and investigated. Hierarchical nanowires with enhanced performance have been considered as an ideal candidate for energy storage due to the novel structures and/or synergistic properties. This review describes some of the recent progresses in the hierarchical nanowire merits, classification, synthesis and performance in energy storage applications. Herein we discuss the hierarchical nanowires based on their structural design from three major categories, including exterior design, interior design and aligned nanowire assembly. This review also briefly outlines the prospects of hierarchical nanowires in morphology control, property enhancement and application versatility.

  • Special Issue: Nanoscience and Emerging Nanotechnologies (Edited by C. M. Lieber)
    Nian Liu, Weiyang Li, Mauro Pasta, Yi Cui

    The development of nanotechnology in the past two decades has generated great capability of controlling materials at the nanometer scale and has enabled exciting opportunities to design materials with desirable electronic, ionic, photonic, and mechanical properties. This development has also contributed to the advance in energy storage, which is a critical technology in this century. In this article, we will review how the rational design of nanostructured materials has addressed the challenges of batteries and electrochemical capacitors and led to high-performance electrochemical energy storage devices. Four specific material systems will be discussed: i) nanostructured alloy anodes for Li-batteries, ii) nanostructured sulfur cathodes for Li-batteries, iii) nanoporous openframework battery electrodes, and iv) nanostructured electrodes for electrochemical capacitors.

  • Special Issue: Nanoscience and Emerging Nanotechnologies (Edited by C. M. Lieber)
    Yang Wu, Jiaping Wang, Kaili Jiang, Shoushan Fan

    The development of lithium ion batteries (LIBs) relies on the improvement in the performance of electrode materials with higher capacity, higher rate capability, and longer cycle life. In this review article, the recent advances in carbon nanotube (CNT) anodes, CNT-based composite electrodes, and CNT current collectors for high performance LIBs are concerned. CNT has received considerable attentions as a candidate material for the LIB applications. In addition to a possible choice for anode, CNT has been recognized as a solution in improving the performance of the state-of-the-art electrode materials. The CNT-based composite electrodes can be fabricated by mechanical or chemical approaches. Owing to the large aspect ratio and the high electrical conductivity, CNTs at very low loading can lead to an efficient conductive network. The excellent mechanical strength suggests the great potential in forming a structure scaffold to accommodate nano-sized electrode materials. Accordingly, the incorporation of CNTs will enhance the conductivity of the composite electrodes, mitigate the agglomeration problem, decrease the dependence on inactive binders, and improve the electrochemical properties of both anode and cathode materials remarkably. Freestanding CNT network can be used as lightweight current collectors to increase the overall energy density of LIBs. Finally, research perspectives for exploiting CNTs in high-performance LIBs are discussed.

  • Special Issue: Nanoscience and Emerging Nanotechnologies (Edited by C. M. Lieber)
    Reshef Tenne

    This minireview outlines the main scientific directions in the research of inorganic nanotubes (INT) and fullerene-like (IF) nanoparticles from layered compounds, in recent years. In particular, this review describes to some detail the progress in the synthesis of new nanotubes, including those from misfit compounds; core-shell and the successful efforts to scale-up the synthesis of WS2 multiwall nanotubes. The high-temperature catalytic growth of nanotubes, via solar ablation is discussed as well. Furthermore, the doping of the IF-MoS2 nanoparticles and its influence on the physiochemical properties of the nanoparticles, including their interesting tribological properties are briefly discussed. Finally, the numerous applications of these nanoparticles as superior solid lubricants and for reinforcing variety of polymers are discussed in brief.

  • Special Issue: Nanoscience and Emerging Nanotechnologies (Edited by C. M. Lieber)
    Xiaohu Xia, Younan Xia

    Featured by tunable localized surface plasmon resonance peaks in the near-infrared region and hollow interiors, Au nanocages represent a novel class of multifunctional nanomaterials that have gained considerable attention in recent years. This short review summarizes our recent work on the capabilities of Au nanocages in nanomedicine. We start with a brief description of the synthesis of Au nanocages and highlight our recent protocols for the scaled-up production of Au nanocages. We then use a number of examples to illustrate how Au nanocages can contribute to nanomedicine with respect to both diagnosis and therapy.

  • Special Issue: Nanoscience and Emerging Nanotechnologies (Edited by C. M. Lieber)
    Keith A. Brown, Daniel J. Eichelsdoerfer, Xing Liao, Shu He, Chad A. Mirkin

    Dip-pen nanolithography (DPN) is a useful method for directly printing materials on surfaces with sub-50 nm resolution. Because it involves the physical transport of materials from a scanning probe tip to a surface and the subsequent chemical interaction of that material with the surface, there are many factors to consider when attempting to understand DPN. In this review, we overview the physical and chemical processes that are known to play a role in DPN. Through a detailed review of the literature, we classify inks into three general categories based on their transport properties, and highlight the myriad ways that DPN can be used to perform chemistry at the tip of a scanning probe.

  • Special Issue: Nanoscience and Emerging Nanotechnologies (Edited by C. M. Lieber)
    Martin H. Magnusson, B. Jonas Ohlsson, Mikael T. Björk, Kimberly A. Dick, Magnus T. Borgström, Knut Deppert, Lars Samuelson

    Aerosol technology provides efficient methods for producing nanoparticles with well-controlled composition and size distribution. This review provides an overview of methods and results obtained by using aerosol technology for producing nanostructures for a variety of applications in semiconductor physics and device technology. Examples are given from: production of metal and metal alloy particles; semiconductor nanoparticles; semiconductor nanowires, grown both in the aerosol phase and on substrates; physics studies based on individual aerosol-generated devices; and large area devices based on aerosol particles.