Superatomic Magnetic Cluster Opens the Door to New Nanomaterials

Magnetic materials are essential to applications including data storage, cell phones, motors, and sensors. Researchers have synthesized a new, extremely small, thermally stable magnetic nanoparticle based on the principle of superatoms. The superatom structure groups electronic states in electron shells. This translates into a nanoparticle with high stability and a large spin magnetic moment.

First Atomic View of a Quantum Electronic Device in Operation

For the first time, researchers have used ultrafast electron diffraction to observe a quantum electronic device as it operates. Researchers observed atomic-level changes in the vanadium dioxide switch over millionths of a second, leading to the discovery of a short-lived intermediate state. The results may aid in the development of high-speed, high-efficiency quantum electronics and in the use of pulsed electric fields to create new engineered materials.

UCI researchers invent a health monitoring wearable that operates without a battery

Irvine, Calif., July 12, 2022 – A new self-powered, wristwatch-style health monitor invented by researchers at the University of California, Irvine can keep track of a wearer’s pulse and wirelessly communicate with a nearby smartphone or tablet – without needing an external power source or a battery. In a paper published recently in the journal Nano Energy, team members in UCI’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering describe their invention, built via 3D printing of nanomaterials on flexible substrates for real-time and wireless monitoring of vital signs.

Electrospinning Promises Major Improvements in Wearable Technology

In APL Bioengineering, researchers from Tufts University examine some of the latest advances in wearable electronic devices and systems being developed using electrospinning – the fabrication of nanofibers with tunable properties from a polymer base – and showcase the many advantages electrospun materials have over conventional bulk materials. Their high surface-to-volume ratio endows them with enhanced porosity and breathability, which is important for long-term wearability, and with the appropriate blend of polymers, they can achieve superior biocompatibility.

Chemical Institute of Canada Gives Top Honor to University of Oklahoma Engineering Professor

The 2022 Robert B. Anderson Catalysis Award from the Chemical Institute of Canada’s Catalysis Division was presented to University of Oklahoma engineering professor Daniel Resasco, Ph.D., for his research that deepens the understanding of chemical reactions in the production of sustainable energy.

Fixing Spinal Cord Injuries With ‘Dancing Molecules’

Researchers have created an injectable therapy for spinal cord injuries that uses specially engineered molecules that trigger a healing response in spinal cells. These molecules come together to form tiny fibers in a liquid solution. Scientists can control the motion of these fibers, allowing the fibers to connect more effectively with cells in the spine. The research may lead to a cure for spinal injuries in humans.

Pushing the Boundaries of Moore’s Law: How Can Extreme UV Light Produce Tiny Microchips?

Some analysts say that the end of Moore’s Law is near, but Patrick Naulleau, the director of Berkeley Lab’s Center for X-Ray Optics (CXRO), says that it could be decades before the modern chip runs out of room for improvement, thanks to advances in materials and instrumentation enabled by the CXRO.

Decoding the Lifecycle of Photogenerated Charges

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.

Enclosing Radiation-Loaded Particles to Better Seek and Destroy Cancer

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.

Just by changing its shape, Argonne scientists show they can alter material properties

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.

Stretching the capacity of flexible energy storage (video)

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.

Patterning Silicon at the One Nanometer Scale

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.

Now in 3D: Deep learning techniques help visualize X-ray data in three dimensions

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.

Main Attraction: Scientists Create World’s Thinnest Magnet

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.

The Electrochemical Society Awards 2021 ECS Colin Garfield Fink Fellowship to Ali Othman

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.

New Dual-Beam Microscope Installed at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials

This latest-generation tool, which combines a scanning electron microscope and focused-ion beam, has advanced capabilities for preparing and analyzing nanomaterial samples.

Watching the Evolution of Nanostructures in Thin Films

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 Spintronics Technology Revolution Could Be Just a Hopfion Away

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.

Fighting Cancer with DNA Origami

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.

Building Tough 3D Nanomaterials with DNA

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.

UCI-led team creates new ultralightweight, crush-resistant tensegrity metamaterials

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.

Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research Issue Features Nontraditional Approaches to Research

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.

Pivotal discovery in quantum and classical information processing

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 Engineers First to Observe Avalanches in Nanoparticles

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.

UCI scientists measure local vibrational modes at individual crystalline faults

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.

Better together: Scientists discover far-reaching applications of nanoparticles made of multiple elements

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.

Eight ways Argonne advanced science in 2020

Throughout 2020, Argonne answered fundamental science questions and provided solutions for the world.

Tiny Nanospindles Enhance Use of Ultrasound to Fight Cancer

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.

New Platform Generates Hybrid Light-Matter Excitations in Highly Charged Graphene

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.

UCI materials scientists discover design secrets of nearly indestructible insect

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.

What’s Nanotechnology? Kristin Persson Explains at 4 Different Levels

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

Scientists Capture Candid Snapshots of Electrons Harvesting Light at the Atomic Scale

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.

High-precision electrochemistry: The new gold standard in fuel cell catalyst development

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.

Argonne scientists create water filtration membranes that can clean themselves

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.

UCI materials scientists study a sea creature that packs a powerful punch

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.

Redesigning lithium-ion battery anodes for better performance

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.

Oil and Water Almost Mix in Novel Neuromorphic Computing Components

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.