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Razors edge

Posted September 26, 2007 10:55 AM

From The Engineer:

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have created a razor-like material that is truly on the "cutting edge" of nanotechnology. The sharp nanometre-scale surface of the magnesium nanomaterial they have produced is vastly different from any other nanomaterial that has been created before using oblique angle deposition, according to lead researcher Gwo-Ching Wang, professor and head of physics, applied physics and astronomy at Rensselaer. The nearly two-dimensional structure of the material also challenges the traditional idea that oblique angle deposition always creates cylindrical structures like nanorods or nanosprings. Unlike three-dimensional springs and rods, the so-called "nanoblades" that the researchers have created are extremely thin with very large surface areas. They also are surprisingly spread out for a uniform nanomaterial, with one to two microns between each blade, according to Wang. The material could be extremely useful for energy storage, particularly hydrogen storage, Wang said. The vast surface area of each nanoblade, coupled with the spaces between each blade, could make them ideal for this application.

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