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[Images above] Credit: NIST


A new, nanoscale, 3D structure to control light

Researchers from The Pennsylvania State University and Sandia National Laboratories created and tested a metamaterial with robust optical properties. They fabricated it using many nanoscopic unit cells with cube-shaped cavities atop a silicon nitride base. A gold pattern was then stenciled and deposited onto two inside walls of each unit cell.

Bright, noniridescent structural colors from clay mineral nanosheets

A team of researchers in Germany and Norway showed how bright noniridescence structural coloration could be easily and rapidly achieved from 2D nanosheets of clay mineral. They improved the brightness by using double clay nanosheets to optimize the clay refractive index that can otherwise hamper structural coloration from such systems.

Researchers observe rare fractional state in bilayer graphene for the first time

Harvard University researchers observed rare fractional states at a low magnetic field in twisted bilayer graphene for the first time. They built a fractional Chern insulator to create the conditions that generate the elusive quantum state.

Discovery unravels how atomic vibrations emerge in nanomaterials

A long-term collaboration between seven universities and two U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories provided experimental proof that at the nanoscale, the notion of multiple thin materials with distinct vibrations no longer holds. If the materials are thin, their atoms arrange identically, so that their vibrations are similar and present everywhere.

Observation of quantum transport at room temperature in a 2.8-nanometer CNT transistor

Researchers developed an in situ transmission electron microscopy technique that can be used to precisely manipulate individual molecular structures. Using this technique, they fabricated carbon nanotube intramolecular transistors by locally altering the carbon nanotube’s helical structure.


Jet stream models help inform US offshore wind development

With the federal government planning to hold the largest sale of offshore wind farm leases in the nation’s history, a new Cornell University study could help inform the development of offshore wind farms by providing detailed models characterizing the frequency, intensity, and height of low-level jet streams over the U.S. Atlantic coastal zone.

Beyond lithium: A systematic search for candidate materials for calcium-ion batteries

Researchers at Chung-Ang University, Korea, ran high-throughput quantum mechanical simulations based on density functional theory to pinpoint the most promising combination of various cathode materials that are calcium-based for new batteries.


Teeth: From materials science to dentistry and evolutionary biology

In a recent blog post on the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s website, emeritus NIST scientist and ACerS Distinguished Life Member Brian Lawn looks at the mechanics of teeth and how those insights could lead to an expansion in biomimicry.

Quick COVID breathalyzer could allow mass screening in public places

Researchers have developed a prototype breathalyzer that can sensitively and accurately diagnose COVID-19, even in asymptomatic individuals, in less than 5 minutes. The breathalyzer contains a chip with three surface-enhanced Raman scattering sensors attached to silver nanocubes.


Offshore wind farms could do double duty as carbon capture devices

An article on Fast Company looks at the potential for pairing wind turbines with technology that captures carbon dioxide directly from the air and stores it in natural reservoirs under the ocean.


Robot-aided assembly could help speed pace of discovery for new nanomaterials

Researchers from the University of Chicago, Cornell University, and the University of Michigan developed a new and fully-automated manufacturing method that uses robots to assemble nanomaterials.

Balancing sustainability, safety, and comfort in engineered floor slabs

Researchers at The Pennsylvania State University used a 3D modeling software to optimize the acoustic and structural properties of concrete floor slabs. In addition to considering mass, with a goal of reducing mass to reduce the emissions required to make and install a slab, they also took shape and stiffness into account.

Scientists discover a surprising structural change in metal oxide at low temperature

Researchers from Argonne National Laboratory, University of Alabama, and University of California, Los Angeles demonstrated that tiny structural distortions form within molybdenum doped vanadium oxide when it is cooled below its metal-to-insulator transition temperature.

Diamond quantum sensor detects ‘magnetic flow’ excited by heat

Researchers in Japan successfully measured thermal magnon currents mediated by coherent magnons with a tiny diamond quantum sensor, paving the way for the realization of a hybrid system of quantum spin states and thermal spintronic devices.

Understanding corrosion in concrete sewer pipes

Using neutron imaging techniques, researchers from Macquarie University gained a better understanding of how corrosion forms and spreads through concrete that is commonly used in sewer pipes.

NIST researchers resurrect and improve a technique for detecting transistor defects

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology revived and improved a once-reliable technique to identify and count defects in transistors. The new, modified charge pumping technique can detect single defects as small as the diameter of a hydrogen atom and can indicate where they’re located in the transistor.

2,000-year-old Roman bowl discovered intact in the Netherlands

Archeologists working at a dig in the Dutch city of Nijmegen uncovered a well-preserved, 2,000-year-old blue glass bowl late last year. The palm-sized dish​​ ​​​​is distinguished by its pattern of vertical stripes, which suggests it was made by allowing molten glass to cool and harden over a mold.