New materials will enable novel technologies to turn sunlight into electricity and fuels. Combinations of molecules and tiny nanoparticles make these materials a reality. Scientists have found a way to track electrons along their round trip from the molecules to the nanoparticles and back, helping to find where electrons can travel and where they get stuck, information that is crucial to finding better combinations for innovative materials.
Molecular self-assembly expert Chun-Long Chen describes the challenges and opportunities in bio-inspired nanomaterials in a special issue of Chemical Reviews.
When medical isotopes are used to treat diseases, they emit large amounts of energy that makes it hard to keep them near the target cells. Researchers are now testing a way to enclose isotopes in tiny pieces of biodegradable material that will keep the isotopes at treatment sites, ensuring that their energy can kill diseased cells with little effect on surrounding cells.
Argonne scientists have observed that when the shape of a thin film of metal oxide known as titania is confined at the mesoscale, its conductivity increases. This finding demonstrates that nanoscale confinement is a way to control quantum effects.
Researchers in ACS’ Nano Letters report a flexible supercapacitor with electrodes made of wrinkled titanium carbide — a type of MXene nanomaterial — that maintained its ability to store and release electronic charges after repetitive stretching.
A new study published today in the journal Environmental Science & Technology finds that exposing certain nanomaterials to light can influence their environmental transformation, fate and, ultimately, their toxicity.
Argonne researchers used ultrafast electron microscopy to study a nanoscale phenomenon that occurs in less than a few hundred quadrillionths of a second. Insights from the study could aid in the development of new sensors and quantum devices.
Scientists have developed a technique called plasmon engineering to create nanomaterials with near-atomic scale control of patterning in silicon. This new research used a specific plasmon engineering method, aberration-corrected electron beam lithography, to control the optical and electronic properties of silicon. This approach could one day be applied to industrial applications.
A team of Argonne scientists has leveraged artificial intelligence to train computers to keep up with the massive amounts of X-ray data taken at the Advanced Photon Source.
Scientists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have created an ultrathin magnet that operates at room temperature. The ultrathin magnet could lead to new applications in computing and electronics – such as spintronic memory devices – and new tools for the study of quantum physics.
Ali Othman, PhD, Research Associate in Clarkson University’s Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Science, received The Electrochemical Society’s prestigious 2021 ECS Colin Garfield Fink Fellowship. The fellowship provides financial assistance for Othman’s research in the months of June through August. His work focuses nanomaterials and the interface chemistry of materials and their bio(sensing) and environmental applications.
This latest-generation tool, which combines a scanning electron microscope and focused-ion beam, has advanced capabilities for preparing and analyzing nanomaterial samples.
A new class of bio-inspired two-dimensional (2D) hybrid nanomaterials mimic the ability of photosynthetic plants and bacteria.
The Chemistry Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research has announced the 2021 recipients of its Outstanding Mentorship Award: Tarek Abdel-Fattah (Christopher Newport University); Fadi Bou-Abdallah (SUNY Potsdam); Loretta Jackson-Hayes (Rhodes College)
Scientists have found a way to turn X-ray fluorescence into an ultra-high position-sensitive probe to measure nanostructures in thin films. The fluorescence reveals the evolution of nanostructures in real time with nearly atomic-level resolution, something no other technique has achieved. This allows scientists to watch nanostructures in thin films evolve with unprecedented precision and design thin films for new applications.
The Physics and Astronomy Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research announces the 2021 recipients of the Nadine Barlow Undergraduate Research Support Awards. The awards seek to assist undergraduate students in conducting faculty-mentored research.
A research team co-led by Berkeley Lab has created and observed quasiparticles called 3D hopfions at the nanoscale (billionths of a meter) in a magnetic system. The discovery could advance high-density, high-speed, low-power, yet ultrastable magnetic memory “spintronics” devices.
Scientists have devised a new way to build nanomaterials that can maintain their structural integrity and functionality in ways relevant to drug delivery. The team developed a class of molecular coatings compatible with biological environments. They used these coating to stabilize wireframed DNA origami cages that can carry an anticancer drug with a slower release of the medicine over time than possible with noncoated counterparts.
Columbia Engineering researchers, working with Brookhaven National Laboratory, report today that they have built designed nanoparticle-based 3D materials that can withstand a vacuum, high temperatures, high pressure, and high radiation. This new fabrication process results in robust and fully engineered nanoscale frameworks that not only can accommodate a variety of functional nanoparticle types but also can be quickly processed with conventional nanofabrication methods.
Irvine, Calif., March 11, 2021 – Catastrophic collapse of materials and structures is the inevitable consequence of a chain reaction of locally confined damage – from solid ceramics that snap after the development of a small crack to metal space trusses that give way after the warping of a single strut. In a study published this week in Advanced Materials, engineers at the University of California, Irvine and the Georgia Institute of Technology describe the creation of a new class of mechanical metamaterials that delocalize deformations to prevent failure.
The winter 2020 issue of Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research (SPUR), the academic journal of the Council on Undergraduate Research, focuses on unusual approaches to undergraduate research such as research for chefs and a video game for biology majors.
Researchers have established a quantitative understanding of how nano-sized dipole particles assemble and crystalize. The driving force is the weak long-range attractive interaction between the dipoles that aligns the crystal faces of the particles prior to their collision. Stronger attractive forces then drive the final jump to connect the particles.
Researchers have achieved, for the first time, electronically adjustable interactions between microwaves and a phenomenon in certain magnetic materials called spin waves. This could have application in quantum and classical information processing.
Columbia Engineering researchers report the first nanomaterial that demonstrates “photon avalanching,” a process that is unrivaled in its combination of extreme nonlinear optical behavior and efficiency. The realization of photon avalanching in nanoparticle form opens up a host of sought-after applications, from real-time super-resolution optical microscopy, precise temperature and environmental sensing, and infrared light detection, to optical analog-to-digital conversion and quantum sensing.
Irvine, Calif., Jan. 11, 2021 – Often admired for their flawless appearance to the naked eye, crystals can have defects at the nanometer scale, and these imperfections may affect the thermal and heat transport properties of crystalline materials used in a variety of high-technology devices. Employing newly developed electron microscopy techniques, researchers at the University of California, Irvine and other institutions have, for the first time, measured the spectra of phonons – quantum mechanical vibrations in a lattice – at individual crystalline faults, and they discovered the propagation of phonons near the flaws.
As catalysts for fuel cells, batteries and processes for carbon dioxide reduction, alloy nanoparticles that are made up of five or more elements are shown to be more stable and durable than single-element nanoparticles.
Throughout 2020, Argonne answered fundamental science questions and provided solutions for the world.
By examining tiny particles of gold with powerful X-ray beams, scientists hope they can learn how to cut down on harmful carbon monoxide emissions from motor vehicles.
Ultrasound can be used to treat cancer when used in combination with molecules that sensitize the system to sound waves. These sonosensitizers generate toxic reactive oxygen species that attack and kill tumor cells. In Applied Physics Review, scientists report a new type of sonosensitizer based on a vanadium-doped titanium dioxide that enhances the amount of damage ultrasound inflicts on tumors. Studies in mice showed that tumor growth was markedly suppressed when compared to a control group.
Columbia University researchers report that they have achieved plasmonically active graphene with record-high charge density without an external gate. They accomplished this by exploiting novel interlayer charge transfer with a two-dimensional electron-acceptor known as -RuCl3. “This work allows us to use graphene as a plasmonic material without metal gates or voltage sources, making it possible to create stand-alone graphene plasmonic structures for the first time,” said Mechanical Engineering Prof. James Hone.
Creating nanomaterials with flame spray pyrolysis is complex, but scientists at Argonne have discovered how applying artificial intelligence can lead to an easier process and better performance.
Irvine, Calif., Oct. 21, 2020 – With one of the more awe-inspiring names in the animal kingdom, the diabolical ironclad beetle is one formidable insect. Birds, lizards and rodents frequently try to make a meal of it but seldom succeed. Run over it with a car, and the critter lives on. The beetle’s survival depends on two key factors: its ability to convincingly play dead and an exoskeleton that’s one of the toughest, most crush-resistant structures known to exist in the biological world.
In celebration of National Nanotechnology Day, Molecular Foundry Director Kristin Persson explains atomic-scale engineering at four different levels – for a kindergartner, a middle schooler, a high school senior, and a graduate student
2D Electronics, Plant Biofactories, Transforming Waste, and Vaccine Development.
A team of scientists led by Berkeley Lab has gained important new insight into electrons’ role in the harvesting of light in artificial photosynthesis systems.
As part of an international collaboration, scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have made a pivotal discovery that could extend the lifetime of fuel cells that power electric vehicles by eliminating the dissolution of platinum catalysts.
Researchers report in Science Advances that the lipid-based nanoparticles they have engineered, carrying two sets of protein-making instructions, showed in animal studies that they have the potential to function as therapies for two genetic disorders.
Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have designed a new, low-cost means to address membrane fouling through the application of a light-activated coating that can make the membrane self-cleaning.
Irvine, Calif., Aug. 17, 2020 – University of California, Irvine materials scientists are learning about resilience from the mantis shrimp. The ancient crustaceans are armed with two hammerlike raptorial appendages called dactyl clubs that they use to bludgeon and smash their prey. These fists, able to accelerate from the body at over 50 mph, deliver powerful blows yet appear undamaged afterward.
In a new study, a team led by researchers at Argonne National Laboratory has made discoveries concerning a potential new, higher-capacity anode material, which would allow lithium-ion batteries to have a higher overall energy capacity.
Researchers developed a novel memory storage device that uses soft biomaterials to mimic synapses. The device consists of two layers of fatty organic compounds called lipids. The lipid layers form at an oil-water interface to create a soft membrane. When scientists apply an electric charge to the membrane, the membrane changes shape in ways that can store energy and filter biological and chemical data.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced more than $33 million in funding for 82 projects aimed at advancing commercialization of promising energy technologies and strengthening partnerships between DOE’s National Laboratories and private-sector companies.
Scientists developed a new technique that uses intense X-ray pulses to measure how atoms move in a sheet of material one molecule thick. Scientists showed that movement of the atoms in a tungsten-selenium “blanket” layer caused the layer to stretch but not wrinkle. The research can help produce materials with new optical and electronic properties.
A team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory implanted atoms precisely into the top layers of ultra-thin crystals, yielding two-sided Janus structures that may prove useful in developing energy and information technologies.
Scientists tested the performance of a dry, oil-free lubricant that could improve efficiency and decrease waste in industrial machinery. The dry solid lubricant includes diamond nanoparticles. It creates a surface coating that reduces friction 20-fold compared to oil-based lubricants.
Scientists developed a new method of selectively attaching DNA strands to specific regions of nanoparticles. The DNA strands then dictate how the nanoparticles assemble into more complex architectures. The team used this approach to demonstrate 24 different nanoarchitectures.
Scientists have developed a new type of nanostructure that mimics certain natural light-harvesting systems. The new nanostructures serve as a bridge to move energy generated by light-absorbing molecules to light-emitting molecules. The transfer has less than 1 percent energy loss.
Scientists at Berkeley Lab and Stanford have joined forces to aim a gene-targeting, antiviral agent called PAC-MAN against COVID-19.
In a recent theoretical study, scientists discovered the presence of the Hopfion topological structure in nano-sized particles of ferroelectrics — materials with promising applications in microelectronics and information technology.
A team of researchers co-led by Berkeley Lab has observed unusually long-lived wavelike electrons called “plasmons” in a new class of electronically conducting material. Plasmons are very important for determining the optical and electronic properties of metals.