Graphene has potential as cell membrane modelling surface


lipid-nanoparticleResearchers at Manchester University have demonstrated that membranes can be  directly ‘written’ on to a graphene surface using Lipid Dip-Pen Nanolithography  (L-DPN).

The researchers at Manchester University – led by Dr Aravind Vijayaraghavan,  and Dr Michael Hirtz at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) – describe  their work in Nature Communications.

The human body contains 100 trillion cells, each of which is enveloped in a  cell membrane that have a plethora of proteins, ion channels and other molecules  embedded in them, each performing vital functions.

Understand these systems will enable their application in areas such as  bio-sensing, bio-catalysis and drug-delivery. Considering that it is difficult  to accomplish this by studying live cells inside the human body, scientists have  developed model cell membranes on surfaces outside the body, to study the  systems and processes under more convenient and accessible conditions.

Dr Vijayaraghavan’s team at Manchester and their collaborators at KIT have  shown that graphene is a suitable new surface on which to assemble these model  membranes, and is claimed to bring many advantages compared to existing  surfaces.

In a statement, Dr Vijayaraghavan said: ‘Firstly, the lipids spread uniformly  on graphene to form high-quality membranes. Graphene has unique electronic  properties; it is a semi-metal with tuneable conductivity.

‘When the lipids contain binding sites such as the enzyme called biotin, we  show that it actively binds with a protein called streptavidin. Also, when we  use charged lipids, there is charge transfer from the lipids into graphene which  changes the doping level in graphene. All of these together can be exploited to  produce new types of graphene/lipids based bio-sensors.’

Dr. Michael Hirtz (KIT) said: ‘The [L-DPN] technique utilises a very sharp  tip with an apex in the range of several nanometres as a means to write lipid  membranes onto surfaces in a way similar to what a quill pen does with ink on  paper.

‘The small size of the tip and the precision machine controlling it allows of  course for much smaller patterns, smaller than cells, and even right down to the  nanoscale.

‘By employing arrays of these tips multiple different mixtures of lipids can  be written in parallel, allowing for sub-cellular sized patterns with diverse  chemical composition.’

 

Read more:  http://www.theengineer.co.uk/medical-and-healthcare/news/graphene-has-potential-as-cell-membrane-modelling-surface/1017291.article#ixzz2hhu6QkMK

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Is building integrated solar close to a tipping point?


QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8Cost and performance considerations have long held back the market for building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), but the steep drop in solar prices and the emergence of high-profile projects and EU policies are bringing new enthusiasm for incorporating it into building designs.

 

“We’re approaching a tipping point and at some point in the future, building integrated solar would be a must-have in the design of any new and significant building,” Mike Russell, managing director at Accenture, told Bloomberg.

Solar manufacturers, stung by diving prices, see BIPV as a way to offer a premium product that can provide strong margins. Architects see it as a way to incorporate distributed energy as part of the design process, rather than tacking on solar energy as an afterthought.

072613solar

 

 

 

Heightened interest in energy efficiency, the rise of net-zero energy buildings and breakthroughs in component design all help drive growth.

In Europe, architecture firm Norman Foster and clients see it as a way to “produce eye-catching buildings” that meet new regulations, Bloomberg reported. Western Europe is expected to start as the biggest BIPV market because of its policy requiring all new buildings to be net-zero energy starting in 2021.

“Building integrated solar in office buildings and factories which generate energy consistently during daylight hours, while not requiring additional expensive land space or unsightly installations, is seen as the most obvious energy solution,” Gavin Rezos, principal of Viaticus Capital Ltd., told Bloomberg. The corporate advisory company has invested private equity in BIPV technology.

Two examples of new buildings sporting BIPV features are the new football stadium being built for the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., which has technology developed by BASF SE; and the new Bloomberg LP headquarters in London being designed by Foster + Partners, which includes solar that’s incorporated into the roof instead of just laying on top of it.

The 55,000-seat Kaohsiung World Stadium in Taiwan is also a great demonstration of this: close to 9,000 panels are integrated directly into the building’s skin.

The CIS Tower

The CIS Tower in Manchester, England.And one of the most mature and largest examples of BIPV design is the vertical solar façade on the CIS Tower in Manchester, England (pictured right), which uses technology from Solar Century Holdings Ltd.

There’s a bright future for BIPV. While it generated just $606 million in revenue in 2012, more than 4.6 gigawatts (GW) of BIPV will come online by 2017, driving $2.4 billion in revenue that year, says Pike Research.

BIPV costs 10 percent more than traditional rooftop solar, Alan South, chief innovation officer at Solar Century, told Bloomberg.

“At the moment, it’s much cheaper to install a conventional module unless your roof is an unusual shape — and expensive solar installed on unsuitable roofs is a decorative design feature, not an energy solution,” adds Jenny Chase, solar analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

One reason is all the extra components needed to support BIPV within the structural design.

“While the individual cells are discreet and easy to integrate, they require cabling and additional elements that need to be carefully incorporated,” David Nelson, head of design at Foster + Partners, told Bloomberg.

His firm is no stranger to green building innovation. It designed and constructed New York‘s Hearst Tower, the first LEED Gold office building in the city.

As the BIPV market matures, Solar Century is developing technology that can be blended into roof tiles and slates. In the United States, Dow Chemical is already selling solar roofing shingles in more than a dozen states.

Solar panel image by Dabarti CGI via Shutterstock. CIS Tower image by mattwi1s0n via Flickr.

Dow Chemical and NANOCO Enter Into Agreement for Quantum Dots


Dow to sell, market and manufacture cadmium-free quantum dots for LCD displays

QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 823/01/2013 Manchester

Philadelphia, PA and Manchester, UK,January 23, 2013 – Dow Electronic Materials, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) and Nanoco Group plc (AIM: NANO) today announced they have entered into a global licensing agreement for Nanoco’s cadmium-free quantum dot technology. Under the terms of the agreement, Dow Electronic Materials will have exclusive worldwide rights for the sale, marketing and manufacture of Nanoco’s cadmium-free quantum dots for use in electronic displays.

The agreement brings together Nanoco’s world-leading technology with Dow’s large-scale manufacturing capability and well-established sales, marketing and distribution network. Dow Electronic Materials is already a major supplier of critical electronic materials to the global display industry.

The financial details of the agreement are not being disclosed though Nanoco will receive royalty payments related to Dow’s sales of cadmium-free quantum dots. Nanoco will continue to provide any technology advances to its cadmium-free quantum dot technology throughout the lifetime of the agreement and participate with Dow in the marketing and technical support of these materials.

Dow intends to build production capacity in Asia where it has extensive manufacturing capabilities to supply high-performance materials to its customers in the display and semiconductor-related segments. Full commercial production is expected to begin in the first half of 2014.

“We believe that Nanoco’s cadmium-free quantum dots will become a new standard in the display industry owing to their ability to significantly improve the color performance of LCD displays both cost-effectively and by avoiding the use of heavy metals,” said C.G. Park, Global Business Director, Dow Electronic Materials. “When coupled with Nanoco’s technology, Dow’s deep technical, engineering and industry knowledge in films, LCD, LED, and OLED display segments brings our customers an unmatched portfolio of materials solutions.”

Michael Edelman, Nanoco’s Chief Executive Officer, commented: “We are delighted to sign this agreement with Dow Electronic Materials. This agreement is transformational for the quantum dot industry and a significant endorsement of Nanoco’s cadmium-free quantum dot technology. With Dow’s production expertise and deep customer relationships, display makers can begin to plan their quantum dot production requirements with further confidence.”

Cadmium-free quantum dots “CFQD™”


In many regions of the world there is now, or soon to be, legislation to restrict and in some cases ban heavy metals in many household appliances such as IT & telecommunication equipment, Lighting equipment , Electrical & electronic tools, Toys, leisure & sports equipment. In Europe, under the RoHS Directive, the restricted metals include cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb). Maximum concentrations are 0.1% or 1000 ppm for lead or mercury and 0.01% or 100 ppm for cadmium – measured by weight in homogeneous materials such as liquids, plastics or coatings. There are similar regulations in place or soon to be implemented worldwide including China, Korea, Japan and the US.

Cadmium and other restricted heavy metals used in conventional quantum dots is of a major concern in commercial applications

For QDs to be commercially viable in many applications they MUST NOT CONTAIN cadmium or other restricted elements. Due to the versatility of quantum dots, many customers would like to exploit their unique properties in applications where it is not permissible to use conventional heavy metal containing NanoDots™. Nanoco has developed and is currently extending the range of restricted metal free quantum dots. These materials show bright emission in the visible and near infra-red region of the spectrum.

Nanoco’s molecular seeding method has been adapted for other compound semiconductor materials, which have similar optical properties to those of CdSe quantum dots (such as the family of III-V materials), but do not contain heavy metals.

A world leading developer and manufacturer of quantum dots

Nanoco Group PLC and its operating subsidiary Nanoco Technologies Ltd partner major R&D and blue-chip industrial organisations in the development of applications incorporating semiconductor nanoparticles, “quantum dots”.

Nanoco Technologies is unique in the nanomaterials market as a company that manufacture large quantities of quantum dots. Our molecular seeding process for the bespoke manufacture of these nanoparticles on a commercial scale is protected by worldwide patents.

Nanoco Technologies is the only manufacturer currently able to supply production quantities of these nanoparticles which do not use a regulated heavy metal. We are the only manufacturer able to respond to orders for large quantities of bespoke quantum dots, and we are leading the way in customising the functionalisation of quantum dots enabling chemical linkage for biological and other specific uses.

The bulk manufacture of quantum dots provides our partners with the platform to develop a wide variety of next-generation products, particularly in application areas such as display technology, lighting, solar cells and biological imaging.

Nanoco Technologies’ research and manufacturing headquarters was established in Manchester (UK) in 2001. The company currently operates facilities in the UK and Japan.

About this Site
This is the corporate website of Nanoco Technologies Ltd. Please make use of the navigation provided to find out more about our products and their applications. This site also contains useful information for prospective partner organisations, employees and investors, as well as visitors with an academic interest in our research, and general readers who would like to find out more about the fascinating subject of quantum dots.

 

Nanoco Group PLC: A world leading developer and manufacturer of quantum dots


Nanoco Technologies - Bulk Quantum Dots Manufacturer

 

 

 

 

Nanoco Group PLC and its operating subsidiary Nanoco Technologies Ltd partner major R&D and blue-chip industrial organisations in the development of applications incorporating semiconductor nanoparticles, “quantum dots”.

Nanoco Technologies is unique in the nanomaterials market as a company that manufacture large quantities of quantum dots. Our molecular seeding process for the bespoke manufacture of these nanoparticles on a commercial scale is protected by worldwide patents.

Nanoco Technologies is the only manufacturer currently able to supply production quantities of these nanoparticles which do not use a regulated heavy metal. We are the only manufacturer able to respond to orders for large quantities of bespoke quantum dots, and we are leading the way in customising the functionalisation of quantum dots enabling chemical linkage for biological and other specific uses.

The bulk manufacture of quantum dots provides our partners with the platform to develop a wide variety of next-generation products, particularly in application areas such as display technology, lighting, solar cells and biological imaging.

Nanoco Technologies’ research and manufacturing headquarters was established in Manchester (UK) in 2001. The company currently operates facilities in the UK and Japan.

About this Site
This is the corporate website of Nanoco Technologies Ltd. Please make use of the navigation provided to find out more about our products and their applications. This site also contains useful information for prospective partner organisations, employees and investors, as well as visitors with an academic interest in our research, and general readers who would like to find out more about the fascinating subject of quantum dots.

Nanoco Signs Joint Agreement with Asian Company

14/02/2012 Manchester

Nanoco Group plc (AIM: NANO), a world leader in the development and manufacture of cadmium-free quantum dots and other nanomaterials, announces that it has signed a commercial joint development agreement (JDA) with a major electronics company in Asia in connection with the use of the Company’s cadmium-free quantum dots (CFQD™) in the electronics company’s display products.

It is anticipated that further agreements with the electronics company will be signed on the successful completion of the initial development work.

Michael Edelman, Nanoco’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We’re delighted to have signed this joint development agreement with a major electronics company in Asia. This agreement further extends our involvement in the display market and increases the number of countries in which we have commercial relationships.”

Website: http://www.nanocotechnologies.com/

Follow on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/nanocotech

 

NANOCO Platform Technology for Innovation


For immediate release   5 October 2012

Nanoco or the Company

Signs follow-on Joint Development Agreement in General Lighting

Nanoco Group plc (AIM: NANO), a world leader in the development and manufacture of cadmium-free quantum dots and other nanomaterials, announces that it has signed a follow-on joint development agreement with one of the world’s largest lighting companies. This agreement follows the successful completion of a joint development agreement with the same lighting company, announced in August last year.

 

The objective of this follow-on agreement is to finalise the design and manufacture of a light emitting diode (LED) light incorporating Nanoco quantum dots for retro-fitting in commercial, residential and other settings.

 

LED lighting has many advantages over traditional lighting including long service life, reduced power consumption, compact size and shock resistance – but its colour performance is one factor that has limited its adoption. Current methods for producing white light from a blue LED tend to be weak in red wavelengths, creating the two problems that the light lacks warmth and fails to show true colours.

Nanoco’s quantum dots can transform blue LEDs so that they produce white light with a high colour rendering index (CRI), thereby showing true colours in domestic and office environments. In addition, as Nanoco quantum dots are tunable, any warmth of light can be produced.

Michael Edelman, Nanoco’s Chief Executive Officer, said:  “We’re delighted to have signed this product development agreement and to be working with one of world’s largest and most innovative lighting companies. Our quantum dots have the potential to unlock the many advantages of LEDs, creating a major commercial opportunity for Nanoco.”

About Nanoco Group plc

Nanoco is a world leader in the development and manufacture of commercial quantities of quantum dots for use in multiple applications including displays, lighting and solar cells.Nanoco’s quantum dots, which are free of heavy metals and comply with RoHS legislation, can be combined into a wide range of materials including liquids, polymers and glass. Nanoco forms strategic partnerships with major end users across a range of applications.

 

Nanoco was founded in 2001 and is based in Manchester, UK. Nanoco began trading on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange in May 2009 under the ticker symbol NANO.