Cool nanotechnology can save energy

Mar 28, 2006

Huge reductions in heating bills, safer surgery and the next generation of miniaturised computers are among the potential benefits of new nanotechnology developed at Leeds.

By suspending nanoparticles in water or other liquids, Professor Richard Williams and Dr Yulong Ding have created 'nanofluids' which can transfer heat up to 400% faster than other liquids. In a central heating system, nanofluids could increase efficiency without the need to use a more powerful pump, so saving energy and providing major environmental benefits.

The University of Leeds now has one of the largest teams in the world and the only group in the UK working on these 'nanofluids'.

The fluids could open the door to the next generation of computers, by overcoming one of the main limitations on developing smaller microchips: rapid heat dissipation.

During critical surgery, nanofluids could be used to cool the brain so it requires less oxygen and thereby enhance the patient's chance of survival and reduce the risk of brain damage. They could also be used to produce a higher temperature around tumours to kill cancerous cells without affecting nearby healthy cells.

Dr Ding said: "With the strong research team here at Leeds we have considerable expertise in developing nanofluids and already have a number of prototypes under investigation. We are looking to characterise these fluids so we fully understand their heat conductive properties under static and dynamic conditions in both large and micro channels."

The researchers are talking to industrial partners about moving towards large-scale production.

Source: University of Leeds

Explore further: Spiraling laser pulses could change the nature of graphene

Related Stories

Why Americans can't buy some of the best sunscreens

46 minutes ago

With summer nearly here, U.S. consumers might think they have an abundance of sunscreen products to choose from. But across the Atlantic, Europeans will be slathering on formulations that manufacturers say provide better ...

Expanding the code of life with new 'letters'

57 minutes ago

The DNA encoding all life on Earth is made of four building blocks called nucleotides, commonly known as "letters," that line up in pairs and twist into a double helix. Now, two groups of scientists are reporting ...

Recommended for you

Self-replicating nanostructures made from DNA

3 hours ago

(Phys.org)—Is it possible to engineer self-replicating nanomaterials? It could be if we borrow nature's building blocks. DNA is a self-replicating molecule where its component parts, nucleotides, have specific ...

Could computers reach light speed?

5 hours ago

Light waves trapped on a metal's surface travel nearly as fast as light through the air, and new research at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory shows these waves, called surface plasmons, travel far enough ...

Non-aqueous solvent supports DNA nanotechnology

May 27, 2015

Scientists around the world are using the programmability of DNA to assemble complex nanometer-scale structures. Until now, however, production of these artificial structures has been limited to water-based ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.