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December 22nd, 2010
There is nano in your future. Between nanotechnology and 3D, robots and mobile, cars and green technology, 2011 will be an exciting year for new products and technologies. Here are the 25 most promising products for 2011:
10. Electric Nanomotor
Science fiction is becoming reality with this nanomotor, which could eventually operate nanofactories—tiny assembly unites that create atomically precise chemical components by putting together different molecules. This, in turn, would enable the mass-manufacture of precision nanomaterials.
This tiny electric motor, which is now being experimentally built, has a rotor made of the molecule anthracene, which spins around an axle made of two ethynyl molecules. The axle, in turn, receives alternating current from two electrodes, which makes the anthracene rotor turn, according to New Scientist magazine. Unlike other nanomotors, which run off of light or magnetism, the anthracene motor's electric current enables scientists to control the "speed and continuity of motion," leading to better control over temperatures "at the molecular level," according to the abstract. Thus, there's more control over the manufacturing process. Sci-fi, here we come.
7. Quantum Dot LED Display
Currently, LCD screens on TVs, phones and computers filter out more than 90% of the light they produce, making them terribly inefficient, according to the MIT Technology Review. Quantum dots, nanomaterials that turn backlight into colors that match display filters, cure this problem. LG will integrate the technology into its new products, leading to better energy efficiency, improved battery life and better color. QLEDs, as they're called, still have lots of potential. In the future, they may be twice as energy-efficient as current LEDs, and they can be printed on thin substrates, making them cost-efficient to manufacture.
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