Nano Bugle

A window into applied science supported by INL

INL introduces its new social networking groups for updates regarding nanotechnology and nanosciences.

The International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) has created groups across a range of the most popular social networks where you can be updated about the latest nanotechnology news and job offers as well keep in touch with other researchers, organizations or companies working in the nanotechnology field or to simply contact people interested in the field.

  Be our fan in Facebook by clicking HERE

Follow us in Twitter by clicking HERE

Be member of our Linkedin Group by clicking HERE

As with any social medium, you are the most important part of the process.  We would like to feature content that best suits your needs and are open to your suggestions.  What is the most important type of content for you as a researcher?  Would you be interested in information about how to best commercialize your research?  Would you be interested in interviews from companies and research groups throughout the world?  Help us to make this a diverse and dynamic reference for the growing field of nanotechnology, please leave your comments and suggestions below.


April 25, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

INL launch summer scholarship programme for Spanish and Portuguese students

As a multilateral organization opened to new countries membership and absolutely committed to Nanotechnology promotion and development, INL manages and administers several educational and research programs specifically orientated to encourage capacities and knowledge in Nanosciences. In this regard, INL launches INL Scholarships Programme offered to portuguese and spanish for second cycle university students of Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Medicine, Physics and related areas interested in a research career in Nanotechnology. Working on the breakthroughs of tomorrow, INL Scholarships Programme offer hands on training in advanced research projects with INL scientists for two months (July & August). Scholars will also have the great opportunity of sharing first research steps of an international and multidisciplinary community formed by scientists and engineers from all over the world.

Read more information and apply at:

April 20, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Do you want to be part of an ecosystem facilitating high level research in nanotechnology and nanosciences? Are you creative, team worker and interested in shortening the time to provide solutions aimed at improving the public good through nanotechnology?

Join INL team! we are looking for motivated people to build our international community of researchers.

New INLer will have the opportunity to joint projects, supported by public and private investors, and work closely together keeping each other’s needs in mind while working hand-in-hand to accomplish a common goal.  

INL focus is to encourage disrupting innovation by connecting top-notch researchers and society with the resources they need to grow and prosper.

Here you have just some of our latest opportunities to make it real:







See all INL’s job offers and apply them at:

April 14, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

POP – Prototype on Prototype

The 2011 Global Nano Innovation Contest–Prototype on Prototype was initiated by Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI).

The video above is only one of the four videos provided as templates, demonstrating the process of creating a prototype from the concept to final manufacturing based on nanotechnology.

There are two stages to the contest: First the participants submit their ideas based on the concept from one of the four videos. Then they make a prototype.

Participants are able to create and design their own products. They may integrate any of the prototypes into a more sophisticated system or application with potential commercial value, which is the spirit of prototype on prototype (POP).

The finalists will be invited to Taiwan to demonstrate their prototype. The selected winners will receive prizes and will be invited to the joint research program.

The goals of the contest are:

– Develop nanotechnology prototyping capability for practical applications with universal appeal.

– Emphasize higher, system-level integration of prototypes, to spur the creation of a wider diversity of high-value nanotechnology applications.

– Establish an international platform promoting collaboration on nanotechnology

August 24, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Toward a new generation of superplastics


A substance made from natural clay (shown), the material used to make pottery, may be spinning its way toward use as an inexpensive, eco-friendly replacement for a compound widely used to make plastic nanocomposites. Credit: iStock

Scientists are reporting an in-depth validation of the discovery of the world’s first mass producible, low-cost, organoclays for plastics. The powdered material, made from natural clay, would be a safer, more environmentally friendly replacement for the compound widely used to make plastics nanocomposites. A report on the research appears in ACS’ Macromolecules, a bi-weekly journal: “The Role of Surface Interactions in the Synergizing Polymer /Clay Flame Retardant Properties.”

Miriam Rafailovich and colleagues focused on a new organoclay developed and patented by a team of scientists headed by David Abecassis. The scientists explain that so-called quaternary amine-treated organoclays have been pioneering nanoparticles in the field of plastics nanotechnology. Just small amounts of the substances make plastics flame retardant, stronger, and more resistant to damage from ultraviolet light and chemicals. They also allow plastics to be mixed together into hybrid materials from plastics that otherwise would not exist. However, quaternary amine organoclays are difficult to produce because of the health and environmental risks associated with quaternary amines, as well as the need to manufacture them in small batches. These and other disadvantages, including high cost, limit use of the materials.

The new organoclay uses resorcinol diphenyl phosphate (which is normally a flame retardant), to achieve mass producible organoclays which can be made in continuous processing. In addition these organoclays are cheaper, generate less dust, and are thermostable to much higher temperatures (beyond 600 degrees Fahrenheit). This clay has also been proven to be superior for flame retardance applications. In addition, unlike most quaternary amine based organoclays, it works well in styrene plastics, one of the most widely used kinds of plastic.

source: ACS News Service Weekly PressPac: July 21, 2010

August 2, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Reducing lithography nanopatterns to 6 nanometers in size

Vadim Sidorkin, a researcher from TU Delft in Netherlands, is the first in the world to succeed in patterning a substrate with markings only 6 nanometres in size and only 14 nanometres apart.

The spacing of 14 nanometers that Sidorkin achieved could increase the data storage capacity of memory chips by a factor ten.

Sidorkin researched into creating the smallest possible structures using electron beams and ion beams. At the present time the industry generally uses light beams to etch extremely small structures onto semiconductor material, for instance in the manufacture of computer chips. Sidorkin used a Helium Ion Microscope (HIM) to create helium beams, and using this technique he was able to draw dots having a diameter of only six nanometres.

Sidorkin compared the performance of the helium ion beam with an electron beam, and found that using helium ions made it possible to etch structures much closer together. Since helium ions are larger and heavier than electrons, they can be fired at the substrate surface with less speed and still deliver the same collision energy. As the result helium ions also do much less damage to the surrounding material, because they rebound less far off the surface and penetrate sideways less far into the structure itself.

July 16, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Accidental Art of Microfluidic Devices


A Flikr group called “Art on a Chip” shows an artistic side to a hot area of technology: microfluidics devices. In the group a vibrant collection of images shows cells, channels and fluids on the micro scale. Researchers are encouraged to upload a favorite picture captured through their research, says the curator of the online collection, Albert Folch, an associate professor in BioMEMs and Microfluidics at the University of Washington.

“Our fields of research are bursting with art,” Folch says in his introduction to the website. “I am willing to bet that your hard drive contains at least one gorgeous image that will make me catch my breath.” 

Many of the images come from Folch’s own collection, and the gallery is a repository for happy accidents. “A lot of times we make mistakes in research that are prettier than the ones we end up publishing,” Folch says. 

Microfluidics devices consist of a combination of tiny channels that interface with microelectronics. They have a range of potential applications, including hand-held contraptions that can quickly detect diseases, and are a hot topic of recent research. 

Folch was at µTAS, a microfluidics meeting in San Diego in 2008, when he entered the meeting’s open picture competition with an image from one of his papers. He didn’t win, but was captivated by the beauty of entries from fellow participants. He brought the idea back to Lab on a Chip, where he now serves as Art Editor. Folch announced the gallery’s opening on its Flikr Web site on June 24, 2010, and enthusiastically awaits contributions. 

“Microfluidics Butterfly” (above) was created by arranging two mirror images of a micromixer–a device that controls the path of fluid flow–next to each other, and then superimposing them on a blue background.

You can read the full article here.

Credit: Lab on a Chip/ Greg Cooksey and Albert Folch

July 14, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Coming Soon: A Foldable iPad?

During the last decade, we have seen how LCD technology has revolutionized our daily lives, with applications from cell phones to television displays.  It seems that the next move of the industry points to foldable screens. The technology tend might be even accelerated by the great market acceptance of the iPad.

In this race for the production of affordable and efficient foldable displays, a team of Duke University chemists presented in Advanced Materials a way to mass-produce bendable copper nanowires. Their technology is based on the production of copper nanowires in a water solution. By adding different chemicals to the solution, Duke researchers created tiny crystal “seeds,” which sprouted individual nanowires. The researchers hope the technology can be used to produce new materials with direct applications in mobile phones, portable computers as well as in the fast-growing solar industry, too.

You can read the full article here.

June 7, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Nanotechnology applied to oil spills

According to a recent post appeared on the Christian Science Monitor,  BP received around 31,600 suggestions from people around the world on how to cap the well and clean up the crisis caused by the BP oil spill. It seems that, of the 31,600 ideas, 8,000 have been submitted on paper. Among the solutions proposed there are very short-tempered or imaginative options like the destruction of the well with nuclear and conventional explosives or giant vacuum systems inspired in Kevin Costner movie Waterworld.

From Nanobugle, we propose nanotechnology base solutions similar to the recent work published in Advanced Materials by a team of the Key Laboratory for Advanced Materials Processing Technology (Department of Mechanical Engineering) at Tsinghua University and the Department of Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology at Peking University.

The Chinese group created a porous, sponge-like bulk material of self-assembled CNTs that might be used at an ocean spill to attract oil. The CNT-sponge expands to hold nearly 200 times its weight and 800 times the volume of the stuff, moves automatically towards higher concentrations of the oil and can be squeezed clean. Furthermore it can be reused repeatedly because, apparently. these sponges show no strength degradation after compression at a set strain of 60% for 1000 cycles.

June 4, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

How butterflies’ wings could cut bank fraud

University of Cambridge scientists, Mathias Kolle, working with Professor Ullrich Steiner and Professor Jeremy Baumberg, have discovered a way of mimicking the stunningly bright and picturesque colors found on the wings of some tropical butterflies. Their findings about the complex, microscopic structures discovered could have important applications in the security printing industry, helping to make bank notes and credit cards harder to forge.

Inspired by the natural structures of the Indonesian Peacock or the Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio blumei) and using a combination of nanofabrication techniques- including self-assembly and atomic layer deposition – the aforementioned researchers made structurally identical copies of the butterfly scales, and these copies produced the same vivid colors as the butterflies’ wings.

Results were published in Nature Nanotechnology and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Cambridge Newton Trust funded the research. You can read the full article here.

June 2, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment