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News Article | May 1, 2017

The world's smallest racecars faced off over the weekend on a track thinner than a human hair. It was the debut Nanocar Grand Prix, an international challenge to design and race vehicles made of single molecules. Developed and hosted by the Center for the Development of Materials and Structural Studies (CEMES) in Toulouse, France, the race was conceived in 2013 as a way to showcase test platforms for mobile nanotechnologies through the fun and relatable medium of automotive racing. The small-scale showdown kicked off early Saturday with its heat of six nanoscale competitors, built by teams from around the world. Instead of burning rubber, these cars were propelled along a crystal gold surface with periodic electric shocks administered by teams with a scanning tunnel microscope. Some of the tiny buggies were designed to resemble real cars, while others took inspiration from the movement patterns of caterpillars or windmills. This diversity reflects the history of normal-scale racecar driving, according to Christian Joachim, a CEMES nanoscientist and the director of the race. "In 1894, the first ever car race was organized between Paris and Rouen and if you look carefully, they decided at that time to keep all kinds of propulsion," Joachim told LiveScience. "We accepted a large variation of molecular designs on purpose to try to understand what works best." The Green Buggy, developed by Joachim and his fellow CEMES researchers, may have been the hometown favorite, but it broke down on the starting line, according to the leaderboard. The NIMS-MANA Car, representing Japan's National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), made it one nanometer before sputtering out. Microscopic image of the Green Buggy. Image: CEMES/CNRS/Nanomobile ClubMeanwhile, the Dipolar Racer, a joint American-Australian entry, gained an early lead with an average speed of 35 nanometers per hour, and won the race with 450 nanometers under its belt over nine hours. The silver medal went to the University of Basel's Swiss Nano Dragster, with 133 nanometers of mileage, followed by Ohio University's Bobcat Nano-Wagon and Technical University of Dresden's Windmill car, with 45 and 11 nanometers respectively. Read More: MIT Physicists Are Designing Microscopic Robots to Walk Inside Our Bodies Devising ways to manipulate nanoscale entities is a hot topic, especially since the 2016 Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded to research into molecular machines and motors. But for Joachim and the other racers, there's no clear roadmap for the future of these tiny cars—and that's part of the fun. "We don't really know, with this technology, what we will get out of it," he said. "Right now, we are just opening up the technology and science." Subscribe to Science Solved It , Motherboard's new show about the greatest mysteries that were solved by science.

Home > Press > GrapheneCanada 2016 International Conference: Recent advances in technology developments and business opportunities in graphene commercialization Abstract: The 2nd edition of Graphene & 2D Materials Canada 2016 International Conference & Exhibition ( will take place in Montreal (Canada): 18-20 October, 2016. Graphene Canada 2016 attractive and promising program features 40 high-level Keynote and Invited speakers from all over the world, with a perfect mixture of fundamental research and industrial perspective. Top industry leaders will discuss recent advances in technology developments and business opportunities in graphene commercialization. Not to be missed: - The plenary session - An industrial forum with focus on Graphene Commercialization (Abalonyx, Alcereco Inc, AMO GmbH, Avanzare, AzTrong Inc, Bosch GmbH, China Innovation Alliance of the Graphene Industry (CGIA), Durham University & Applied Graphene Materials, Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., Hanwha Techwin, Haydale, IDTechEx, North Carolina Central University & Chaowei Power Ltd, NTNU&CrayoNano, Phantoms Foundation, Southeast University, The Graphene Council, University of Siegen, University of Sunderland and University of Waterloo) - Extensive thematic workshops in parallel (Materials & Devices Characterization, Chemistry, Biosensors & Energy and Electronic Devices) - A significant exhibition (Abalonyx, Go Foundation, Grafoid, Group NanoXplore Inc., Raymor | Nanointegris and Suragus GmbH) The GrapheneCanada 2016 will bring together, from a global perspective, scientists, researchers, end-users, industry, policy makers and investors in an environment of cooperation and sharing towards the challenges of Graphene commercialization. Organisers: Phantoms Foundation Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology - ICN2 (Spain) | CEMES/CNRS (France) | GO Foundation (Canada) | Grafoid Inc (Canada) | Graphene Labs - IIT (Italy) | McGill University (Canada) | Texas Instruments (USA) | Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium) | Université de Montreal (Canada) For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Home > Press > Rice to enter first international nanocar race: Five teams will participate in October 2016 event in France Abstract: Ladies and gentlemen, start your nanoengines. Rice University will send an entry to the first international NanoCar Race, which will be held next October at Pico-Lab CEMES-CNRS in Toulouse, France. NanoCar Race, the first-ever race of molecule-cars by CNRS-en Nobody will see this miniature grand prix, at least not directly. But cars from five teams, including a collaborative effort by the Rice lab of chemist James Tour and scientists at the University of Graz, Austria, will be viewable through sophisticated microscopes developed for the event. Time trials will determine which nanocar is the fastest, though there may be head-to-head races with up to four cars on the track at once, according to organizers. A nanocar is a single-molecule vehicle of 100 or so atoms that incorporates a chassis, axles and freely rotating wheels. Each of the entries will be propelled across a custom-built gold surface by an electric current supplied by the tip of a scanning electron microscope. The track will be cold at 5 kelvins (minus 450 degrees Fahrenheit) and in a vacuum. Rice's entry will be a new model and the latest in a line that began when Tour and his team built the world's first nanocar more than 10 years ago. "It's challenging because, first of all, we have to design a car that can be manipulated on that specific surface," Tour said. "Then we have to figure out the driving techniques that are appropriate for that car. But we'll be ready." Victor Garcia, a graduate student at Rice, is building what Tour called his group's Model 1, which will be driven by members of Professor Leonhard Grill's group at Graz. The labs are collaborating to optimize the design. The races are being organized by the Center for Materials Elaboration and Structural Studies (CEMES) of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). The race was first proposed in a 2013 ACS Nano paper by Christian Joachim, a senior researcher at CNRS, and Gwénaël Rapenne, a professor at Paul Sabatier University. Joining Rice are teams from Ohio University; Dresden University of Technology; the National Institute for Materials Science, Tsukuba, Japan; and Paul Sabatier. Tour is the T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry as well as a professor of computer science and of materials science and nanoengineering. About Rice University Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,888 undergraduates and 2,610 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for best quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Al-Kattan A.,National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse | Dufour P.,Institut Universitaire de France | Dexpert-Ghys J.,CEMES | Drouet C.,National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse
Journal of Physical Chemistry C | Year: 2010

Luminescent colloidal nanosystems based on europium-doped biomimetic apatite were prepared and investigated. The colloids were synthesized by soft chemistry in the presence of a phospholipid moiety, 2-aminoethylphosphoric acid (AEP), with varying europium doping rates. Physicochemical features, including compositional, structural, morphological, and luminescence properties, were examined. Experimental evidence showed that suspensions prepared from an initial Eu/(Eu + Ca) molar ratio up to 2% consisted of singlephased biomimetic apatite nanocrystals covered with AEP molecules. The mean particle size was found to depend closely on the AEP content, enabling the production of apatite colloids with a controlled size down to ca. 30 nm. The colloids showed luminescence properties typical of europium-doped systems with narrow emission bands and long luminescence lifetimes of the order to the millisecond, and the data suggested the location of Eu3+ ions in a common crystallographic environment for all the colloids. These systems, stable over time and capable of being excited in close-to-visible or visible light domains, may raise interest in the future in the field of medical imaging. © 2010 American Chemical Society.

Delmas M.,CEMES | Monthioux M.,CEMES | Ondarcuhu T.,CEMES
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2011

Using atomic force microscopy with nonconventional carbon tips, the pinning of a liquid contact line on individual nanometric defects was studied. This mechanism is responsible for the occurrence of the contact angle hysteresis. The presence of weak defects which do not contribute to the hysteresis is evidenced for the first time. The dissipated energy associated with strong defects is also measured down to values in the range of kT, which correspond to defect sizes in the order of 1 nm. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Douin J.,CEMES | Donnadieu P.,Grenoble Institute of Technology | Houdellier F.,CEMES
Acta Materialia | Year: 2010

Precise measurements of strain fields around precipitates embedded in a crystalline matrix were performed, and simple but accurate models were deduced from the observations. The measurements were carried out in an aged aluminum alloy containing needle-shaped particles. The displacement and strain fields around rod-shaped and lath-shaped particles were obtained from high-resolution electron micrographs using geometric phase analysis. The measurements reveal that strain field of a rod-shaped particle is well described by the classical Eshelby analytical elastic solution. For the more complex case of lath precipitates, it is shown that the strain field in the matrix can be simply approximated by a dislocations dipole. The methods developed are generally applicable to the characterization of strain in nano-structured materials, including those with complex or unknown structures. © 2010 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Chassagne M.,CEMES | Chassagne M.,Grenoble Institute of Technology | Legros M.,CEMES | Rodney D.,Grenoble Institute of Technology
Acta Materialia | Year: 2011

The influence of material and choice of interatomic potential on the interaction between an a/2〈1 1 0〉{1 1 1} screw dislocation and a Σ3{1 1 1}〈1 1 0〉 coherent twin boundary (CTB) is determined by simulating this process in a range of face-centered cubic metals modeled with a total of 10 embedded-atom method (EAM) potentials. Generalized stacking fault energies are computed, showing a linear relation between the stacking faut (γ S) and twin energies, as well as between the unstable stacking fault (γ US) and unstable twinning (γ UT) energies. We show that the reaction mechanism (absorption of the dislocation into the CTB or transmission into the twinned region) and reaction stress depend strongly on the potential used, even for a given material and are controlled by the material parameter γ S/μb P (where μ is the shear modulus and b P the Shockley partial Burgers vector), rather than the sign of the ratio (γ US- γ S)/(γ UT-γ S), as proposed recently by Jin et al. [1]. Moreover, there exists a critical reaction stress, close to 400 MPa, independent of the potential, below which the dislocation is absorbed in the CTB and above which the dislocation is transmitted into the twinned region. The simulations are discussed with respect to in situ transmission electron microscopy straining experiments in Cu that highlight the importance of thermally activated cross-slip in the interaction process and show that transmission across a twin boundary is possible but is most likely an indirect process. © 2010 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

The hardening effect of a high concentration of substitutional solute atoms in iron has been investigated by means of in situ straining experiments in FeSi and FeCr alloys, between 100 and 300 K. The results show that both screw and edge dislocations interact with solute atoms. This interaction is, however, strongest on screw dislocations, as a result of the formation of superjogs in the vicinity of solute atoms. Under such conditions, hardening takes place above a transition temperature for which the local pinning at superjogs becomes stronger than the Peierls friction stress. © 2013 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

In situ straining experiments were carried out in various FeNi, FeSi and FeCr alloys, between 95 and 300 K, in order to determine the origin of the softening effect of a low concentration of substitutional solute atoms in iron. Dislocations multiply and annihilate by glide in {1 1 0} planes and cross-slip, as in pure Fe. Curved non-screw parts are highly mobile, though they are subjected to a frictional stress which has been estimated. Straight screw segments have a slow and steady motion at all temperatures, corresponding to a classical kink-pair mechanism. In particular, they do not exhibit the transition to jerky motion that has previously been observed in pure Fe at low temperatures, and which has been correlated with the hump in the stress-temperature curve. Under such conditions, the softening effect is interpreted as being due to the shift of the transition and corresponding hump to lower temperatures, as in FeC. © 2013 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Meffre A.,INSA Toulouse | Lachaize S.,INSA Toulouse | Gatel C.,CEMES | Respaud M.,INSA Toulouse | Chaudret B.,INSA Toulouse
Journal of Materials Chemistry | Year: 2011

This article reports the synthesis of iron(0) nanoparticles at moderate temperature - from 120 °C to 150 °C - using the reduction of the organometallic iron(ii) precursor {Fe[N(SiMe3)2] 2}2 by hexadecylamine (HDA) in the absence of dihydrogen (H2). The nanoparticles are monodisperse in size and self-assemble into 2D super-lattices suitable for transport measurements. The nanoparticles are stabilized in mesitylene by a mixture of HDA and hexadecylammonium chloride (HDA·HCl). The resulting truncated single-crystalline nanocubes have a narrow size distribution and a high magnetization close to the bulk value. The products are characterized by transmission electronic microscopy (TEM and HRTEM), SQUID measurements, Mössbauer and Infra-Red spectroscopies. Fe(ii) reduction is accompanied by oxidation of amines into imines which was detected as a by-product. This reduction occurs at 120 °C and above. The temperature, in conjunction with the reaction time, allows for a fine control of the nano-objects final size. The latter can also be tuned with the HDA·HCl concentration. Finally, this one-pot synthesis produces high-quality magnetic nanoparticles with mean sizes in the range 6 to 10 nm depending on the conditions. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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