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Nanoscience and nanotechnology

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Mashable

Mashable reporter Emmett Smith spotlights how MIT researchers have developed a new technique to clear dust from solar panels without using water. The new method uses “electrostatic repulsion, where an electrode that glides above the panel electrically charges dust particles and subsequently repels them.”

Popular Science

MIT engineers have developed a new contactless method to clean solar panels that could save billions of gallons of water, reports Anuradha Varanasi for Popular Science. “I was amazed at the sheer amount of pure water that is required for cleaning solar panels,” says Prof. Kripa Varanasi. “The water footprint of the solar industry is only going to grow in the future. We need to figure out how to make solar farms more sustainable.”

Tech Briefs

Prof. Kripa Varanasi, graduate student Sreedath Panath, and a team of researchers are developing a water-free way to clear dust off of solar panels, reports Billy Hurley and Ed Brown for Tech Briefs. “Water is such a precious commodity, and people need to be careful about how to make use of this resource that we have,” says Varanasi. “The solar industry really needs to keep this in mind; we don’t want to be solving one problem and creating another.”

Nature

Ariana Remmel spotlights “Carbon Queen,” a new book written by MIT News Deputy Editorial Director Maia Weinstock, which highlights the career of Institute Professor Mildred S. Dresselhaus. “Weinstock navigates the complexities of theoretical physics and research bureaucracy deftly,” writes Remmel. “She describes of carbon – from diamond to graphite – and their properties with sleek diagrams and colourful analogies that unpack basic principles and broader implications.”

The Daily Beast

MIT researchers have developed a new water-free system that uses static electricity to clear dust from solar panels, reports Miriam Fauzia for The Daily Beast. “By using this technique, we can recover up to 95 percent of a solar panel’s power output,” explains graduate student Sreedath Panat.

New Scientist

New Scientist reporter Chen Ly writes that MIT researchers have developed a new technique that uses static electricity to remove the dust from solar panels, which could save around 45 billion liters of water annually. “I think water is a precious commodity that is very undervalued,” says Prof. Kripa Varanasi. “What I’m hoping is this will spur more people to think about water issues.”

Science

Science writer Maia Weinstock, deputy editorial director at MIT News, has written a new book titled “Carbon Queen: The Remarkable Life of Nanoscience Pioneer Mildred Dresselhaus,” which highlights the career of Institute Professor Mildred S. Dresselhaus, reports Vijaysree Venkatraman for Science. “In “Carbon Queen,” Weinstock has pieced together Dresselhaus’s story using decades of profiles, print interviews, oral histories conducted with the scientists herself, and new interviews with her contemporaries,” writes Venkatraman.

Physics World

Physics World reporter Jesse Wade spotlights “Carbon Queen: The Remarkable Life of Nanoscience Pioneer Mildred Dresselhaus,” a new book by Maia Weinstock, deputy editorial director at MIT News. “With Carbon Queen, Weinstock does more than tell the story of a brilliant scientist’s life,” writes Wade. “She transports you into a world of curiosity and wonder, driven by enthusiasm and persistence.”

GBH

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo visited MIT.nano this week, where she emphasized the importance of investing in semiconductor research and manufacturing, and noted that MIT is the “gold standard” for collaboration between academia and industry, reports Jake Freudberg for GBH News. “Ultimately, what we need is the great ideas and research that are beginning in universities to be turned into products made at scale in America,” said Raimondo.

WCVB

WCBV reporter Sharman Sacchetti spotlights U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s visit to MIT.nano. “Investing in chip manufacturing and supply chain domestically will allow us to make more goods in America, which will bring down inflation,” said Raimondo of the importance of boosting domestic manufacturing of semiconductors.

Popular Science

Popular Science reporter Shi En Kim spotlights how MIT scientists created a new plastic material with the strength of steel. “This substance could be used as protective coatings for metal surfaces, such as the finish on cars, or as filters for purifying water,” writes Kim.

Boston.com

Boston.com reporter Marta Hill spotlights how MIT scientists used a new polymerization technique to create a material that serves as both a durable coating and strong structural element. “We now have a completely new way of making materials as two-dimensional polymers, [which] means we’re going to get new properties,” says Prof. Michael Strano. “This material that we’ve made happens to be pretty exceptional. It’s very strong and very light. It’s unusual for a polymer.”

The Daily Beast

MIT researchers have developed a solar-powered desalination system that “avoids salt buildup and could provide a family with continuous drinking water for only $4,” reports Miriam Fauzia for The Daily Beast. “The researchers hope to develop their device into something that can be mass produced and used by individuals and families, especially for those living in remote communities,” writes Fauzia.

WHDH 7

WHDH spotlights MIT scientists who have created a new material as strong as steel and as light as plastic. “There is excitement because that may open up whole new classes of materials that are strong in new kinds of ways,” says Prof. Michael Strano.

CBS Boston

MIT scientists have created a new strong yet light material that could be mass produced and used as coatings for cars, phones or even as building material for bridges, reports CBS Boston. “We don’t usually think of plastics as being something that you could use to support a building, but with this material, you can enable new things,” says Prof. Michael Strano.