In case you missed it (ICYMI), here are some of the stories that made headlines in the world of cleanrooms and nanotechnology in the past week:
A researcher at UC Berkeley is developing a new type of membrane made of graphene oxide. The system could work better than current water filtration technology and could also use less energy in the process. The system must be tested at a larger scale before it’s commercialized.
The dangers of UV light — which is responsible for sunburn — have inspired scientists to search for versatile materials that block UV and can withstand long radiation exposure times without deteriorating. A group of researchers in China has developed a new method to create transparent, glass-based materials with UV-absorbing power and long lifetimes. The Optical Society reports that the team demonstrated that the innovative glass is successful at protecting living cells and organic dyes. Additionally, it could potentially be developed as a transparent shield to protect electronics in space.
Finally, after six years of research, materials scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have made a breakthrough in growing tiny sheets of zinc oxide. These miniscule sheets could have a promising future for nanomaterial manufacturing, as well as electronic and biomedical devices. They applied a specially formulated surfactant (a substance similar to detergent) to the surface of a liquid which contained zinc ions. Thanks to its chemical properties, the surfactant assembled itself into a single layer at the surface of liquid, with negatively charged sulfate ions pointed in the direction of the liquid. Those sulfate ions drew the positively charged zinc ions from within the liquid to the surface, and within a couple hours enough zinc ions were drawn up to form continuous zinc oxide nanosheets only a few atomic layers thick.