Tag Archives: nanometers

Researchers Create World’s Largest DNA Origami

Researchers from North Carolina State University, Duke University and the University of Copenhagen have created the world’s largest DNA origami, which are nanoscale constructions with applications ranging from biomedical research to nanoelectronics.

“These origami can be customized for use in everything from studying cell behavior to creating templates for the nanofabrication of electronic components,” says Dr. Thom LaBean, an associate professor of materials science and engineering at NC State and senior author of a paper describing the work. (more…)

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IBM Scientists Demonstrate Quantum Phenomenon for the First Time Using a Plastic Film

Originally predicted in the 1920s by Satyendranath Bose and Albert Einstein, applications could include energy-efficient lasers and optical switches, critical components for future computer systems processing Big Data

ZURICH – 10 Dec 2013: For the first time, scientists at IBM Research have demonstrated a complex quantum mechanical phenomenon known as Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC), using a luminescent polymer (plastic) similar to the materials in light emitting displays used in many of today’s smartphones.

This discovery has potential applications in developing novel optoelectronic devices including energy-efficient lasers and ultra-fast optical switches — critical components for powering future computer systems to process massive Big Data workloads. The use of a polymer material and the observation of BEC at room temperature provides substantial advantages in terms of applicability and cost.  (more…)

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Invention jet prints nanostructures with self-assembling material

A multi-institutional team of engineers has developed a new approach to the fabrication of nanostructures for the semiconductor and magnetic storage industries. This approach combines top-down advanced ink-jet printing technology with a bottom-up approach that involves self-assembling block copolymers, a type of material that can spontaneously form ultrafine structures.

The team, consisting of nine researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Chicago and Hanyang University in Korea, was able to increase the resolution of their intricate structure fabrication from approximately 200 nanometers to approximately 15 nanometers. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter, the width of a double-stranded DNA molecule. (more…)

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Researchers ‘Nanoweld’ by Applying Light to Aligned Nanorods in Solid Materials

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a way to melt or “weld” specific portions of polymers by embedding aligned nanoparticles within the materials. Their technique, which melts fibers along a chosen direction within a material, may lead to stronger, more resilient nanofibers and materials.

Physicists Jason Bochinski and Laura Clarke, with materials scientist Joe Tracy, placed specifically aligned gold nanorods within a solid material. Gold nanorods absorb light at different wavelengths, depending upon the size and orientation of the nanorod, and then they convert that absorbed light directly into heat. In this case, the nanorods were designed to respond to light wavelengths of 520 nanometers (nm) in a horizontal alignment and 800 nm when vertically aligned. Human beings can see light at 520 nm (it looks green), while 808 nm is in the near infrared spectrum, invisible to our eyes. (more…)

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New Path to More Efficient Organic Solar Cells Uncovered at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source

Why are efficient and affordable solar cells so highly coveted? Volume. The amount of solar energy lighting up Earth’s land mass every year is nearly 3,000 times the total amount of annual human energy use. But to compete with energy from fossil fuels, photovoltaic devices must convert sunlight to electricity with a certain measure of efficiency. For polymer-based organic photovoltaic cells, which are far less expensive to manufacture than silicon-based solar cells, scientists have long believed that the key to high efficiencies rests in the purity of the polymer/organic cell’s two domains – acceptor and donor. Now, however, an alternate and possibly easier route forward has been shown.

Working at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS), a premier source of X-ray and ultraviolet light beams for research, an international team of scientists found that for highly efficient polymer/organic photovoltaic cells, size matters. (more…)

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Yale’s New Microscope Brings Atoms’ Identities into Focus

Yale’s acquisition of a powerful new transmission electron microscope (TEM) is expected to transform researchers’ ability to examine and manipulate atom-scale materials and devices on campus.

The approximately $2 million, state-of-the-art microscope offers atomic resolution for both physical structure and chemical composition, as well as significantly faster processing times than other devices on campus. It is the first unit of this specific TEM model acquired for university laboratory use. (more…)

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Berkeley Lab Researchers Ink Nanostructures with Tiny ‘Soldering Iron’

Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have shed light on the role of temperature in controlling a fabrication technique for drawing chemical patterns as small as 20 nanometers. This technique could provide an inexpensive, fast route to growing and patterning a wide variety of materials on surfaces to build electrical circuits and chemical sensors, or study how pharmaceuticals bind to proteins and viruses.

One way of directly writing nanoscale structures onto a substrate is to use an atomic force microscope (AFM) tip as a pen to deposit ink molecules through molecular diffusion onto the surface. Unlike conventional nanofabrication techniques that are expensive, require specialized environments and usually work with only a few materials, this technique, called dip-pen nanolithography, can be used in almost any environment to write many different chemical compounds. A cousin of this technique — called thermal dip-pen nanolithography — extends this technique to solid materials by turning an AFM tip into a tiny soldering iron. (more…)

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