Stretching the possibilities: Bendable single-crystalline diamonds hold potential for next-generation electronics

By Lisa McDonald / January 15, 2021

Diamonds have many desirable properties for application in electronic devices, but their rigid crystalline structure and brittle nature make it difficult to use diamonds for such a purpose. An international team of researchers led by City University of Hong Kong revealed in 2018 that diamonds are bendable on the nanoscale, and a follow-up paper published by them this month expands on that finding.

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Manipulate light on the nanoscale: Proposed quantum dot–graphene scheme improves conversion of light into surface waves

By Lisa McDonald / December 11, 2020

Surface plasmon polaritons are a type of surface wave that, when harnessed, show potential to improve various processes that take place on the nanoscale, such as molecular imaging. Researchers from two places in Russia propose a new scheme using quantum dots and graphene to more efficiently convert light into surface plasmon polaritons for use in such applications.

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A new fabrication method takes root—researchers grow carbon nanotube forest of record length

By Lisa McDonald / November 20, 2020

Carbon nanotubes demonstrate much higher tensile strength than carbon fibers, but growing nanotubes in bulk while retaining this property is an obstacle that limits their commercial applications. Researchers in Japan developed a new fabrication method that could overcome the challenge of growing nanotubes in bulk.

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An en‘light’ening approach to cancer treatment: New GO-templated gold nanosheet shows promise for photothermal therapy

By Lisa McDonald / November 13, 2020

Traditional methods of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy for treating cancer can be extremely taxing on the body. Photothermal therapy is a minimally invasive and locally focused alternative, and a recent paper by researchers in China looks at the potential of a new graphene oxide-templated gold nanosheet for use in this treatment.

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A gain in understanding: Researchers investigate the influence of processing parameters on ceramic oxides for laser applications

By Lisa McDonald / November 10, 2020

Transparent ceramics serve as the gain medium in many commercial lasers, yet the push to develop new and improved ceramics for this application continues. In two papers published this year, an international team of researchers investigates the influence of different processing parameters on the properties of nanocomposite yttrium magnesium oxide ceramics.

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Hiding in plain sight: Broad diffraction pattern offers reliable quality control of graphene

By Lisa McDonald / November 3, 2020

Quality control of graphene is a pressing challenge for suppliers of the 2D material. Yet recent research at Ames Laboratory offers a valuable way to assess the quality by evaluating broad components of the diffraction pattern that scientists overlooked for years.

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National Nanotechnology Day: Recognizing pioneers in carbon nanostructure research

By Lisa McDonald / October 9, 2020

Today is National Nanotechnology Day! To celebrate, we recognize some of the pioneers in the field of carbon nanostructure research who received the Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology over the past 20 years.

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Small-scale patterning: Thermal scanning probe lithography allows precise nanocutting of 2D materials

By Lisa McDonald / October 6, 2020

Common lithographic techniques used to etch patterns onto a surface run into difficulties when cutting 2D materials. Researchers at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne developed a thermal scanning probe lithography method that can cut the smallest reported feature for a direct cutting method to date.

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I th‘ink’ we have a solution: Researchers explain mechanism behind uniform deposition of 2D materials for printed electronics

By Lisa McDonald / August 28, 2020

In 2017, an international team of researchers led by the University of Cambridge found a certain alcohol-based solvent allowed uniform deposition of inks containing 2D materials—a result important to advancing printed electronics. Now, the team has proposed a mechanism to explain their finding.

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Achieve dynamic control of light—liquid crystals offer way to reconfigure optical properties of metalenses

By Lisa McDonald / August 25, 2020

Metalenses are an emerging technology for controlling light that could someday replace traditional lenses. However, they generally lack dynamic control over their optical properties and are limited to passive optical applications. Researchers from the United States and Italy investigated infiltrating metalenses with liquid crystals to allow for dynamic control.

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