ONE Box Girl Scout Cookies = $15 Billion (Converting Carbon Sources to Graphene)


mix-id328072.jpgRice University lab shows troop how any carbon source can become valuable graphene.
Scientists can make graphene out of just about anything with carbon — even Girl Scout cookies.

Graduate students in the Rice University lab of chemist James Tour proved it when they invited a troop of Houston Girl Scouts to their lab to show them how it’s done.

 

*** WOW! Team GNT KNEW we should have bought more Girl Scout Cookies in this year’s annual ‘cookie drive’!  – Cheers!

University of Houston Launches Nanotechnology Company (w/video)


201306047919620(Nanowerk News) Out of the test-tube, onto your jeans?  How about your patio deck?

A researcher from the University of Houston has turned his  nanotechnology research into reality, launching a nanotech manufacturing company  in the University’s Energy Research Park.

C-Voltaics will manufacture the coatings, designed to protect  fabric, wood, glass and a variety of other products from water, stains, dust and  other environmental hazards.

“After you wash your jeans, the color starts to fade. It means  you can keep your jeans looking better, longer,” Seamus “Shay” Curran, director  of UH’s Institute for NanoEnergy, said. “Or you might have a very nice white  blouse, but the minute you get ketchup or wine on it, you know you’re going to  have to throw it out. You’re not going to have to throw things away because of  fading or stains.”

The coatings, technically known as self-cleaning hydrophobic  nano-coatings, are designed to repel the elements. Curran said they will be  competitively priced.

“If you want to have a successful business, it’s got to be  better and cheaper,” he said. “Consumers aren’t going to pay for it if it’s  not.” UH is a shareholder in C-Voltaics, which Chief Energy Officer  Ramanan Krishnamoorti said is the first nanotechnology company to be spun off  from the University.

 

Water 2.0 2013 Water Management And Nano Energy Summit


Water 2.0 open_img

2013 Water Management And Nano Energy Summit : November 13 & 14, 2013

Rice University – Shell Auditorium Jones Graduate School of Business Rice University 6100 Main Street Houston, Texas 77005

THE SUMMIT is a gathering of the world’s leading experts who are generating cutting-edge technological solutions for challenges in the water and energy sectors.

Produced in partnership with the Water Innovations Alliance, WATER 2.0, the NanoBusiness Commercialization Association, the Rice Alliance, and the Smalley Institute at Rice University, THE SUMMIT will feature prominent speakers from industry, government, finance and academia. THE SUMMIT will address state-of-the-art innovative solutions to decades-old problems in the water and oil and gas sectors. These pioneering technologies are emerging rapidly into the market thanks to revolutionary breakthroughs in material science, nanoscience and computational power.

For Full Details, Sponsors, Presenters and Exhibitors, go here: http://www.nanoevent.org/

 

 

 

Since 2009, Vincent Caprio’s Blog EVOLVING INNOVATIONS has addressed issues on Science & Technology.

About The Water Innovations Alliance Foundation The Water Innovations Alliance Foundation is focused on educating the public and key stakeholders as to new developments in fresh and waste water technologies. The Foundation works to gather data, develop reports, standards, economic analysis, and model training programs for advancing the development and deployment of new water technologies.

The Water Innovations Alliance Foundation is located in Cambridge, MA and Shelton, CT. It is a 501(c)(3) organization that works in conjunction with the Water Innovations Alliance. The Foundation was launched in Spring 2009. It is undertaking a series of initiatives to advance the understanding of new opportunities, technologies, and best practices for the water field.

To learn more about the Foundation and its membership, contact Vincent Caprio, vince@waterinnovationsfoundation.org

New Form of Carbon Stronger Than Graphene and Diamond


Carbon NanotubeChemists have calculated that chains of double or triple-bonded carbon atoms, known as carbyne, should be stronger and stiffer than any known material. 

 

The sixth element, carbon, has given us an amazing abundance of extraordinary materials. Once there was simply carbon, graphite and diamond. But in recent years chemists have added buckyballs, nanotubes and any number of exotic shapes created out of graphene, the molecular equivalent of chickenwire.

So it’s hard to believe that carbon has any more surprises up its sleeve. And yet today, Mingjie Liu and pals at Rice University in Houston calculate the properties of another form of carbon that is stronger, stiffer and more exotic than anything chemists have seen before.

The new material is called carbyne. It is a chain of carbon atoms that are linked either by alternate triple and single bonds or by consecutive double bonds.

Carbyne is something of a mystery. Astronomers believe they have detected its signature in interstellar space but chemists have been bickering for decades over whether they had ever created this stuff on Earth. A couple of years ago, however, they synthesised carbyne chains up to 44 atoms long in solution.

The thinking until now has been that carbyne must be extremely unstable. In fact some chemists have calculates that two strands of carbyne coming into contact would react explosively.

Nevertheless, nanotechnologists have been fascinated with potential of this material because it ought to be both strong and stiff and therefore useful. But exactly how strong and how stiff, no one has been quite sure.

This is where Liu and co step in. These guys have calculated from first principles the bulk properties of carbyne and the results make for interesting reading.  

For a start, they say that carbyne is about twice as stiff as the stiffest known materials today. Carbon nanotubes and grapheme, for example, have a stiffness of 4.5 x 10^8 N.m/kg but carbyne tops them with a stiffness of around 10^9 N.m/kg.

Just as impressive is the new material’s strength. Liu and co calculate that it takes around 10 nanoNewtons to break a single strand of carbyne. “This force translates into a specific strength of 6.0–7.5×10^7 N∙m/kg, again significantly outperforming every known material including graphene (4.7–5.5×10^7 N∙m/ kg), carbon nanotubes (4.3–5.0×10^7 N∙m/ kg), and diamond (2.5–6.5×10”7 N∙m/kg4),” they say.

Carbyne has other interesting properties too. Its flexibility is somewhere between that of a typical polymer and double-stranded DNA. And when twisted, it can either rotate freely or become torsionally stiff depending on the chemical group attached to its end.

Perhaps most interesting is the Rice team’s calculation of carbyne’s stability.  They agree that two chains in contact can react but there is an activation barrier that prevents this happening readily. “This barrier suggests the viability of carbyne in condensed phase at room temperature on the order of days,” they conclude.

All this should whet the appetite of nanotechnologists hoping to design ever more exotic nanomachines, such as nanoelectronic and spintronic devices.  Given the advances being made in manufacturing this stuff, we may not have long to wait before somebody begins exploiting the extraordinary mechanical properties of carbyne chains for real.

Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1308.2258 : Carbyne From First Principles: Chain Of C Atoms, A Nanorod Or A Nanorope?

Flotek Industries Announces Texas A&M Research Initiative on Nanotechnology and Unconventional Hydrocarbon Production


QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8HOUSTON, July 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Flotek Industries, Inc. announced today sponsorship of applied research at Texas A&M University to investigate the impact of nanotechnology on oil and natural gas production in emerging, unconventional resource plays.

“With the acceleration of activity in oil and gas producing shales, a better understanding of the impact of various completion chemistries on tight formations with low porosity and permeability will be key to developing optimal completion techniques in the future,” said John Chisholm, Flotek’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “While we know Flotek’s Complex nano-Fluid chemistries have been successful in enhancing production in tight resource formations, we believe a more complete understanding of the interaction between our chemistries and geologic formations as well as a more precise comprehension of the physical properties and impact of our nanofluids in the completion process will significantly enhance the efficacy of the unconventional hydrocarbon completion process. This research continues our relationship with Texas A&M where we also are conducting research into acidizing applications in Enhanced Oil Recovery.”

Specifically, the research will focus its investigation on the oil recovery potential of complex nanofluids and select surfactants under subsurface pressure and temperature conditions of liquids-rich shales.

Dr. I. Yucel Akkutlu, Associate Professor of Petroleum Engineering in the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University will serve as the principal investigator for the project. Dr. Akkutlu received his Masters and PhD in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Southern California. He has over a decade of postgraduate theoretical and experimental research experience in unconventional oil and gas recovery, enhanced oil recovery and reactive flow and transport in heterogeneous porous media. He has recently participated in industry-sponsored research on resource shales including analysis of microscopic data to better understand fluid storage and transport properties of organic-rich shales.

“As unconventional resource opportunities continue to grow in importance to hydrocarbon production, understanding ways to maximize recovery will be key to improving the efficacy of these projects,” said Dr. Akkutlu. “The key to enhancing recovery will be to best understand robust, new technologies and their impact on the completion process. Research into complex nanofluid chemistries to understand the physical properties and formation interactions will play an integral role in the future of completion design to optimize recovery from unconventional hydrocarbon resources.”

The research will commence immediately. Inquiries regarding the research should be directed to Flotek.

About Flotek Industries, Inc.

Flotek is a global developer and distributor of a portfolio of innovative oilfield technologies, including specialty chemicals and down-hole drilling and production equipment. It serves major and independent companies in the domestic and international oilfield service industry. Flotek Industries, Inc. is a publicly traded company headquartered in Houston, Texas, and its common shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “FTK.”

For additional information, please visit Flotek’s web site at www.flotekind.com.

 

SOURCE  Flotek Industries, Inc.

Got Quantum Dots? Seeking to Impact Our Lives (for the better) through Nanotechnology


QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8 Got Quantum Dots?

 

A Nanotechnology and Applied Materials company, Quantum Materials Corporation (QMC), explains that Quantum dots refer to one of several promising materials niche sectors that recently have emerged from tremendous nanotechnology advances in chemistry and materials processing in the past two decades, and fall into the category of nano-crystals, which also includes quantum rods and nanowires. QMC believes there are abundant opportunities  to commercialize the many applications emerging now in this arena … and QMC intends to capitalize on those opportunities! (See potential Applications Below)

As a materials subset, quantum dots are characterized by synthetic nano-materials particles fabricated to the smallest of dimensions from only a few atoms and upwards. At these tiny dimensions, they behave according to the rules of quantum physics, which describe the behavior of atoms and sub atomic particles, in contrast to classical physics that describes the behavior of bulk materials. In other words, objects consisting of many atoms.

Quantum Dots measure near one billionth of an inch and are a non-traditional type of semiconductor that can be used as an enabling material across many industries that is unparalleled in versatility and flexible in form.

Quantum Materials Corporation (QMC) is now commercializing a low cost quantum dot technology of a superior quality and characteristics. This revolutionary new quantum dot production technique, developed by Dr. Michael S. Wong and colleagues at Houston’s William Marsh Rice University, has been acquired under an exclusive, world-wide license. QMC’s new synthesis method is mass producible using continuous flow technology processes developed in conjunction with Access2Flow micro-reactor technology. QMC’s research and development group was instrumental in developing the new scaling-up process.

michaelwongRice University Quantum Dot Synthesis

Dr. Wong’s Rice University lab invented a simplified synthesis using greener fluids in a moderate temperature process producing same-sized QD particles, in which more than 95 percent are tetrapods; where previously even in the best recipe less than 50 percent of the prepared particles were all same size and tetrapods. These highly efficient tetrapod QD are available across the entire light wavelength from UV to IR spectra and very narrow bandwidth is common. Selectivity of arm width and length is very high allowing different characteristics to be emphasized. Capping with shells and dyes adds desired properties. A custom mixture of quantum dots tuned to optimal wavelengths is easy to create, and projects will have the advantage of unprecedented flexibility and quantities for determining the optimal quantum dot without the time, expense and poor quality of batch synthesis methods.

Moreover, the Rice process uses much cheaper raw materials and fewer purification steps. A positively charged molecule called cetyltrimethylammonium bromide provides this dramatic improvement in tetrapod manufacture. This compound, found in some shampoos, also is 100 times cheaper than alkylphosphonic acids currently used and is far safer, further simplifying the manufacturing process.

With the underlying theme of designing and engineering novel materials for catalytic and encapsulation applications, Dr. Wong’s research interests lie in the areas of nanostructured materials (e.g. nanoporous materials, nanoparticle-based hollow spheres, and quantum dots), heterogeneous catalysis, and bioengineering applications. He is particularly interested in developing new chemical approaches to assembling nanoparticles into functional macrostructures.

QD Nanotech Applications

Current and future applications of quantum dots impact a broad range of industrial markets. These include, for example, biology and biomedicine; computing and memory; electronics and displays; optoelectronic devices such as LEDs, lighting, and lasers; optical components used in telecommunications; and security applications such as covert identification tagging or biowarfare detection sensors. All of these markets can move from laboratory discovery to commercialization as QMC scales production of quantum dots to robust levels. They include:

IN VITRO analysis for cells and biological systems:

Quantum dots make improvements in the quality of marking in both brightness and time to study (hours instead of minutes).

IN VIVO selective tissue marking:

Quantum dots have been used for lymph node mapping and vascular and deep tissue imaging. This use has the potential to be much more significant for disease control and cure than any other current pharmacological technology.

QD Printing Applications

Quantum Materials Corporation has the exclusive worldwide license to proprietary quantum dot printing technologies developed by Dr. Ghassan Jabbour. This pioneering technology makes significant improvements over prior art.

Displays:

Quantum Dot LED as well as nanoparticle LED/OLED based displays now have the potential to be manufactured using very high volume, low cost roll-to-roll print processing on inexpensive substrates, with potential to deliver a significantly lower price point combined with higher definition, increased viewing angles, lower power consumption, and reduced response time for enhanced display imaging in a very thin, light weight, format.

Lighting:

Tetrapod quantum dots and printing technologies can be printed and applied to certain lighting applications delivering high brightness, true color balance, long life and low energy consumption for highest efficiency. As global consumption of electricity in the world increases dramatically, energy efficiency through better electronics and lighting is a key to reducing the overall burden on power production and the expected increases in greenhouse gas emissions.

Thermoelectrics:

Thermoelectric devices are notoriously inefficient, and many researchers are working diligently on nanocomposite materials, such as quantum dots that artificially induce phonon scattering, thereby inhibiting heat transfer due to lattice vibrations while facilitating electron and hole conduction.

Photonics & Telecommunications:

Quantum dots open potential to develop optical switches, modulators, and other devices that rely upon nonlinear optics, with the aim of creating faster, cheaper, and more powerful optical telecommunication components.

Security Inks:

Inks and paints incorporating quantum dots, nanoscale semiconductor particles, can be tuned to emit light at specific wavelengths in the visible and infrared portion of the spectra.

While currently marketing its tetrapod quantum dot technology to end users in the Printed Electronic, LED, and Solar markets, QMC is specifically focusing efforts on capturing a significant market share of the 2013 forecast estimated over $100MM by BCC Research for quantum dots in Bioscience applications. To accomplish this, QMC says it will demonstrate its tetrapod quantum dots’ superiority over standard spherical quantum dots to its diverse customer base.

MarketsandMarkets 2012 Quantum Dot Global Forecast predicts total QD sales of $7.48 Billion by 2022 in a wide range of QD applications. Quantum Materials believes that its provision of an accessible supply of quantum dots enables potential partners to now strategically develop commercially viable quantum dot products.

A company, Quantum Materials Corporation, is delivering tetrapod quantum dots to a client studying dual emission effects in sensitive force sensing environments. Dual-emitting tetrapod QD sensors can measure very minute stresses such as those of a heartbeat by reading the changing variance of luminescence response emitted as the tetrapod quantum dots arms bend. Nano-probes of this type are poised to be a platform technology providing optical readout for many other biomechanical processes.

This unique ability of the tetrapod quantum dot helps it to outshine the more common spherically shaped quantum dot.

QMC says in a release that its patented synthesis allows precise control of tetrapod quantum dot composition, size of QD core, length of arms, and arm thickness, and this ability to design the tetrapod characteristics allows optimization to control the tetrapod’s reaction to stress and thereby tune the light emissions for different applications.

QMC with its Patented Technologies receiving the prestigious Frost and Sullivan Award “Best Practices Award” for Advanced Quantum Dot Manufacturing Enabling Technology”, is the singular company that can provide industrial-scale quantities of tetrapod quantum dots, customized client’s needs, with the uniformity and reliability necessary to feed the demands of large scale commercial operations.

Collaboration with Texas State’s Material Science, Engineering and Commercialization Doctoral Program exemplifies that institution’s powerful commitment to advancing nanotechnology “Research with Relevance” and parallels Quantum Materials’ own strategy to convert advanced quantum dot research into successful products. Texas State is creating a team environment for innovation by attracting internationally renowned faculty, encouraging cross-pollination across different scientific disciplines, and supporting STAR Park’s growth environment.

“Quantum Materials is a great example of the kind of collaborative effort Texas State University is interested in creating through STAR Park. The firm will have access to experienced faculty and specialized facilities that will support joint R&D efforts.

 

 

QMC receives U.S. patent for synthesis of Group II-VI inorganic tetrapod quantum dots


QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8

*** Note to Readers: In our efforts to provide timely updates in the world of “Nano”, we post the following announcement. We have previously posted about this company and find the premise of the technology to be very promising IOHO. We appreciate your thoughts, comments and responses as to how you think this technology will impact the industry, specifically in Nano-Bio, Nano-Pharma and Nano-Medicine.  Cheers!  BWH

Published on November 21, 2012 at 12:11 AM

quantum material corp logoQuantum Materials Corporation, Inc. (OTCQB: QTMM) proudly announces the USPTO patent grant of a fundamental disruptive technology for synthesis of Group II-VI inorganic tetrapod quantum dots. The patent, “Synthesis of Uniform Nanoparticle Shapes with High Selectivity” and invented by Professor Michael S. Wong’s group at William Marsh Rice University, Houston, TX, for the first time gives precise control of both QD shape and dimension during synthesis and is adaptable to quantum dots production of industrial scale quantities. The new synthesis is a greener method using surfactants as would be found in laundry detergent instead of highly toxic chemicals used during industry standard small batch synthesis.

Quantum Materials Corporation, Inc.(QMC) has acquired the exclusive worldwide license for this patent and its wholly owned renewable energy subsidiary, Solterra Renewable Technologies, has the same rights specific to Quantum Dot Solar Applications.  QMC last week announced a high quantum yield of 80% for a new class of tetrapod QD synthesized with this patented process.

According to a new market research report, “Quantum Dots (QD) Market – Global Forecast & Analysis (2012 – 2022)” published by MarketsandMarkets (http://www.marketsandmarkets.com), the total market for Quantum dots is expected to reach $7.48 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 55.2% from 2012 to 2022.

The Rice University QD synthesis remarkably produces same-sized tetrapods, in which more than 92+ percent are full tetrapods, with a similar high degree of process control over QD shape, size, uniformity, and selectivity. The synthesis is applicable to a wide range of mono and hybrid Group II-VI tetrapod QD with/without shell and can optimize specific characteristics by modifying process parameters.

Across the broader QD industry however, other companies have been striving to increase production, but none have predicted scaling quantum dot production remotely close to multiple kilograms per day.

Quantum Materials Corporation’s development of breakthrough software-controlled continuous flow chemistry process allows scaling of tetrapod quantum dot production to 100Kg/Day. Increasing production will transform tetrapod quantum dots from a novelty to a commodity, available across industries and applications where prior limited availability and high prices restricted product development. For example, 100Kg daily QD production can support a QD Solar Cell Plant producing one Gigawatt/year of R2R flexible QD solar cells at an industry competitive .75 cents/Watt at the start.

Tetrapod QD offer inherent advantages over spherical QD including higher brightness, truer and more colors, the use of less active material (QDs) for any application, higher photostability and therefore longer lifetime; which together more than justify their product development. OLEDs, for example, share design architecture similarities and would not require entirely new research to adapt to TQD-LEDs.  Spherical Quantum dots, at the low price of $2000/gm. are 30 times more expensive than gold today.

It simply has not been economically feasible to commercialize QD applications due to their high cost, which stems from the difficulty of small batch manufacture, the inability to produce uniform, same size QD from batch to batch, and to promise a reliable, timely supply. Over the last half dozen years university and corporate quantum dot research has increased dramatically and there are ready QD applications that may now be “business planned” for joint ventures or possible licensing with Quantum Materials Corporation and Solterra Renewable Technologies.

Stephen B. Squires, CEO and President of Quantum Materials Corporation, Inc. and Solterra Renewable Technologies, Inc., said, “With the granting of the US Patent, tetrapod quantum dots are well positioned to revolutionize several industries in offering dramatic performance at cost effective levels. While the technology has been under review, we have continued to execute our vision to establish global manufacturing centers and strategic partnerships for creating dramatic value in our companies.”  Squires continued, “We are excited to continue our business plan with the IP protection offered by the granted allowances. Adoption of quantum dots will result in new classes of products with advanced features, improved performance, energy efficiency, and lower cost.”

Art Lamstein, Director of Marketing for QMC and SRT added, “The timeline is moved forward to present day and market forecasts will need be rewritten for quantum dot based renewable energy, photovoltaics, biotech diagnostic assays, drug delivery platforms, theranostic cancer and other biomedicine treatments, QD-LED and opto-electronic devices, photonics, low power SSL lighting, batteries, fuel cells, thermo-QD  applications, quantum computing, memory, and conductive inks (to name a few).”QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8

Nanoparticles convert solar energy directly to steam


Houston, TXA new technology that uses nanoparticles to convert solar energydirectly into steam has been developed by Rice University scientists. This new “solar steam” method from Rice’s Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP) is so effective it can even produce steam from icy cold water. Published online in ACS Nano, the technology has an overall energy efficiency of 24%–even better than solar photovoltaic panels. Initially, however, the inventors of the solar steam technology say it will be initially used for sanitation and water purification in developing countries rather than for energy generation.

“This is about a lot more than electricity,” said LANP director Naomi Halas, lead scientist on the project. “With this technology, we are beginning to think about solar thermal power in a completely different way.” The efficiency of solar steam is due to the light-capturing nanoparticles that convert sunlight into heat. When submerged in water and exposed to sunlight, the particles heat up so quickly they instantly vaporize water and create steam. Halas said the solar steam’s overall energy efficiency can probably be increased as the technology is refined.

“We’re going from heating water on the macro scale to heating it at the nanoscale,” Halas said. “Our particles are very small–even smaller than a wavelength of light–which means they have an extremely small surface area to dissipate heat. This intense heating allows us to generate steam locally, right at the surface of the particle, and the idea of generating steam locally is really counterintuitive.” Rice graduate student Oara Neumann videotaped a solar steam demonstration in which a test tube of water containing light-activated nanoparticles was submerged into a bath of ice water. Using a lens to concentrate sunlight onto the near-freezing mixture in the tube, Neumann showed she could create steam from nearly frozen water.

Steam is one of the world’s most-used industrial fluids and about 90% of electricity is produced from steam, and steam is also used to sterilize medical waste and surgical instruments, to prepare food and to purify water. Most industrial steam is produced in large boilers, and Halas said solar steam’s efficiency could allow steam to become economical on a much smaller scale. People in developing countries will be among the first to see the benefits of solar steam. Rice engineering undergraduates have already created a solar steam-powered autoclave that’s capable of sterilizing medical and dental instruments at clinics that lack electricity. Halas also won a Grand Challenges grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to create an ultra-small-scale system for treating human waste in areas without sewer systems or electricity.

Another potential use could be in powering hybrid air-conditioning and heating systems that run off of sunlight during the day and electricity at night. Halas, Neumann and colleagues have also conducted distillation experiments and found that solar steam is about two-and-a-half times more efficient than existing distillation columns. For cancer treatment technology and many other applications, Halas’ team chooses particles that interact with just a few wavelengths of light. For the solar steam project, Halas and Neumann set out to design a particle that would interact with the widest possible spectrum of sunlight energy. Their new nanoparticles are activated by both visible sunlight and shorter wavelengths that humans cannot see.

SOURCE: Rice University; http://news.rice.edu/2012/11/19/rice-unveils-super-efficient-solar-energy-technology/

IMAGE: Rice University graduate student Oara Neumann and scientist Naomi Halas are co-authors of new research on a highly efficient method of turning sunlight into heat. They expect their technology to have an initial impact as an ultra-small-scale system to treat human waste in developing nations without sewer systems or electricity. (Courtesy Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)

Rice University graduate student Oara Neumann and scientist Naomi Halas are co-authors of new research on a highly efficient method of turning sunlight into heat. They expect their technology to have an initial impact as an ultra-small-scale system to treat human waste in developing nations without sewer systems or electricity. (Courtesy Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)