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:
Australian researchers have contributed to an understanding of the ion transport mechanism in graphene. Small angle neutron scattering (SANS) using the Quokka instrument (a small-angle scattering instrument) has brought insight into how ions are transported at the nano level in stacked membranes of graphene, materials that have many unique properties. The research was aimed to develop graphene into a more versatile material.
As electronics grow ever more intricate, so must the tools required to fix them. Anticipating this challenge, scientists turned to the body’s immune system for inspiration and have now built self-propelled nanomotors that can seek out and repair tiny scratches to electronic systems. They could one day lead to flexible batteries, electrodes, solar cells and other gadgets that heal themselves. Gadgets will soon be more ubiquitous than ever, appearing in our clothes, implants and accessories, say the researchers at University of California at San Diego. But finding ways to fix nanocircuits, battery electrodes or other electronic components when they break remains a challenge. Replacing whole devices or even parts can be tricky or expensive, particularly if they’re integrated in clothes or located in remote places. Creating devices that can fix themselves would be ideal.
Finally, NASA‘s James Webb Space Telescope has gotten a little closer to launch with the completion of cryogenic testing on its science cameras and spectrographs and the installation of the final flight mirrors. After over a year of planning, nearly four months of final cryo (cold) testing and monitoring, the testing on the science instruments module of the observatory was completed. They were removed from a giant thermal vacuum chamber called the Space Environment Simulator, or SES, that duplicates the vacuum and extreme temperatures of space. The SES is a 40-ft.-tall, 27-ft.-diameter cylindrical chamber that eliminates almost all of the air with vacuum pumps and uses liquid nitrogen and even colder gaseous helium to drop the temperature. The telescope is being assembled in a Class 10,000 cleanroom at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.