Vienna University of Technology

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Vienna University of Technology articles

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Nanostructures made of pure gold

Nanostructures made of pure gold
  The idea is reminiscent of the ancient alchemists’ attempts to create gold from worthless substances: Researchers from TU Wien (Vienna) have discovered a novel way to fabricate pure gold nanostructures using an additive direct-write lithography technique. An electron beam is used to turn an auriferous organic compound into pure gold.
4th November 2016

Magnets can be made with a 3D printer

Magnets can be made with a 3D printer
Today, manufacturing strong magnets is no problem from a technical perspective. It is, however, difficult to produce a permanent magnet with a magnetic field of a specific pre-determined shape. That is, until now, thanks to the new solution devised at TU Wien: for the first time ever, permanent magnets can be produced using a 3D printer. This allows magnets to be produced in complex forms and precisely customised magnetic fields, required, for example, in magnetic sensors.
26th October 2016

Artificial 2D crystals modified at the touch of a button

Artificial 2D crystals modified at the touch of a button
A huge and colourful variety of crystals can be found in nature – from simple salt crystals to iridescent opals and biological crystals that are responsible for the glorious colouring on butterflies’ wings. New technological methods have made it possible to expand the range of crystals even further. ‘Colloidal systems’ often consist of particles that are able to form ordered structures entirely by themselves via so-called self-organisation.
30th September 2016


Synthetic resin: curing at the touch of a button

Synthetic resin: curing at the touch of a button
It may appear to be a nondescript, transparent, viscous liquid, but all you have to do is irradiate any part of it briefly with UV light and it changes completely. The new special resin formulation developed at TU Wien solidifies in seconds. This effect continues to spread outwards until the resin is completely solid, which takes a matter of seconds or minutes, regardless of its previous shape. This is referred to as frontal polymerisation.
30th September 2016

'Artificial atom' created in graphene

'Artificial atom' created in graphene
In a tiny quantum prison, electrons behave quite differently as compared to their counterparts in free space. They can only occupy discrete energy levels, much like the electrons in an atom - for this reason, such electron prisons are often called "artificial atoms". Artificial atoms may also feature properties beyond those of conventional ones, with the potential for many applications, for example in quantum computing.
22nd August 2016

Material can switch stiction and wetting with electricity

Material can switch stiction and wetting with electricity
TU Wien (Vienna), KU Leuven and the University of Zürich have discovered a robust surface whose adhesive and wetting properties can be switched using electricity. This remarkable result is featured on the cover of Nature magazine. When rain falls on a lotus leaf, the leaf doesn't get wet. Thanks to its special structure, the water drops roll off without wetting the surface. Artificial materials can be made water-repellent, too. It is, however, extremely challenging to produce a surface with switchable wetting.
5th July 2016


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