Europe should dare to use democracy

This weekend sees the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, and the foundation of the international body that became the European Union. The EU may have many faults, but it is in my opinion a very good thing, and I hope it leads to stronger cultural and political links between the […]

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Nanotechnology and the European Union

The EU’s latest funding programme for scientific research and technological development – the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) – was launched in January of this year. Out of a total pot of €50.5bn, EU member states have through FP7 earmarked some €3.5bn for funding nanotechnology-related research over the six year duration of the programme.

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Graphene sheets as electromechanical resonators

A graduate student at Cornell University, US, has taken a simple way of creating the single atom thick sheets of carbon known as graphene, and looked at how they behave as electromechanical resonators. The electronic properties of graphenes have attracted much interest, as they are considered suitable for constructing ballistic transistors and other novel electronic […]

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Carbon nanotubes could hold key to green fuel

A team of German scientists has found that commercial carbon nanotubes containing residual amounts of cobalt and iron nanoparticles are highly effective in ammonia (NH3) decomposition. The discovery could prove useful in removing NH3 from coal gasification streams, and in the production of hydrogen gas for use as a green fuel. Liquid NH3 is seen […]

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Hybrid carbon nanomaterial discovered

A team of researchers from Finland, England, the US, Russia and Korea has reported the discovery of a novel form of nano-carbon, and named the new material ‘Nanobuds’. Nanobuds are essentially a hybrid of single-walled carbon nanotubes and fullerene molecules, and the group that made them is led by Esko Kauppinen, a materials scientist at […]

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Green chemistry and nanotechnology

A proactive approach to nanotechnology will benefit industry, says University of Oregon chemist James Hutchison As with other ‘next big thing’ technologies, questions have been raised about the potentially adverse health and environmental effects of nanotechnology. With this in mind, scientists and policymakers have launched a public debate on safe nanotechnology. Here we discuss the […]

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Molecular self-assembly of nanowires

Materials scientists from the Empa institute in Zürich, Switzerland, have succeeded in getting two organic molecules to self-assemble into long chains on a surface. While others have managed to create chains of molecules, until now the chains have not been very long, the problem being that all surfaces show unevenness at the atomic scale. A […]

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Carbon nanotubes and solar energy generation

A combination of organic thin films and carbon nanotubes could make large-scale solar energy generation commercially viable, says Emmanuel Kymakis, an engineer based at the Technological Educational Institute in Crete, Greece. In silicon-based photovoltaics, power efficiencies have reached 25%, but the downside is that fabricating mono-crystalline silicon cells is both technically difficult and energy-intensive, leading […]

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Finnish nanotechnology sector soaring

Nanotechnology research and its commercial exploitation in Finland is booming, according to Tekes, the country’s main public funding agency for research and development. In the last two years alone, the number of private companies operating in the sector has more than doubled, and now stands at 129. Of these, 29 have a commercial product on […]

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The EU does not pay non-farmers not to farm

If you can follow the above title without your head spinning, get thee to a physician, for there must be something wrong with your head. Alternatively, proceed directly to stage two of the current competition for a European Commission staff post. The title is my response to an article by the Times’ Chief Political Correspondent […]

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