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Nanoparticles promise to improve blood cancer treatment

June 15, 2012 12:07 pm | News | Comments

Researchers from the University of Notre Dame have engineered nanoparticles that show great promise for the treatment of multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow.

Researchers use nanotechnology to harness the power of fireflies

June 15, 2012 7:02 am | News | Comments

What do fireflies, nanorods, and Christmas lights have in common? Someday, consumers may be able to purchase multicolor strings of light that don't need electricity or batteries to glow. Scientists at Syracuse University found a new way to harness the natural light produced by fireflies using nanoscience. Their breakthrough produces a system that is 20 to 30 times more efficient than those produced during previous experiments.

Quantum bar magnets in a transparent salt

June 15, 2012 6:45 am | News | Comments

Scientists have managed to switch on and off the magnetism of a new material using quantum mechanics, making the material a test bed for future quantum devices. The team of researchers found that the material, a transparent salt, did not suffer from the usual complications of other real magnets, and exploited the fact that its quantum spins interact according to the rules of large bar magnets.


Researchers develop optical displays from water and air

June 15, 2012 5:47 am | News | Comments

For many years, scientists have been pursuing ways to mimic the perplexing capability of the lotus leaf to repel water. Now an international team of researchers led by Aalto University have come up with an entirely new concept of writing and displaying information on surfaces using simply water.

Electrified graphene a shutter for light

June 15, 2012 4:22 am | News | Comments

An applied electric voltage can prompt a centimeter-square slice of graphene to change and control the transmission of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths from the terahertz to the midinfrared. The experiment at Rice University advances the science of manipulating particular wavelengths of light in ways that could be useful in advanced electronics and optoelectronic sensing devices.

Scientists synthesize first genetically evolved semiconductor material

June 14, 2012 5:41 am | News | Comments

In the not-too-distant future, scientists may be able to use DNA to grow their own specialized materials, thanks to the concept of directed evolution. University of California, Santa Barbara scientists have, for the first time, used genetic engineering and molecular evolution to develop the enzymatic synthesis of a semiconductor.

Self-assembling nanocubes for next-generation antennas, lenses

June 14, 2012 3:55 am | News | Comments

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering have developed a technique that enables metallic nanocrystals to self-assemble into larger, complex materials for next-generation antennas and lenses. The metal nanocrystals are cube-shaped and, like bricks or Tetris blocks, spontaneously organize themselves into larger-scale structures with precise orientations relative to one another.

Scientists observe electrons become both heavy and speedy

June 14, 2012 3:42 am | News | Comments

A Princeton University-led team of scientists has shown how electrons moving in certain solids can behave as though they are a thousand times more massive than free electrons, yet at the same time act as speedy superconductors.


Textured surface may boost power output of thin silicon solar cells

June 13, 2012 10:18 am | by David Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Highly purified silicon represents up to 40% of the overall costs of conventional solar-cell arrays—so researchers have long sought to maximize power output while minimizing silicon usage. Now, a team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology has found a new approach that could reduce the thickness of the silicon used by more than 90% while still maintaining high efficiency.

Research group switches magnetism of individual molecules

June 13, 2012 8:14 am | News | Comments

A breakthrough in control of nanoscale molecular magnets has been made at a German research institution. Despite their dense packing in a molecular layer, Dr. Thiruvancheril Gopakumar was able to use a scanning tunneling microscope to switch individual molecules between two magnetic states.

Shrimp research could lead to much stronger ceramics

June 13, 2012 6:29 am | News | Comments

The mantis shrimp has club-like “arms” which can strike prey at speeds matching that of a 5.56-mm rifle bullet. Each impact generates a force exceeding 50 kg. A research team has observed the unique composite structure of the shrimp's club and has discovered that it is weaved together in such a way as to create a structure much tougher than many engineered ceramics. The finding may lead to new ceramic designs.

Spin currents found in topological insulators

June 13, 2012 5:14 am | News | Comments

Physicists in Germany have recently provided new insights into spintronics: In ultra-thin topological insulators, they have identified spin-polarized currents, which were first theoretically predicted six years ago. They have also presenteda method of application for the development of new computers.

“Dirt cheap” magnetic field sensor made from “plastic paint”

June 13, 2012 5:08 am | News | Comments

University of Utah physicists developed an inexpensive, highly accurate magnetic field sensor for scientific and possibly consumer uses based on a “spintronic” organic thin-film semiconductor that basically is “plastic paint.” Its inventors say the new type of magnetometer also resists heat and degradation, works at room temperature and never needs to be calibrated.


Taking hybrids for a spin to generate electricity from sunlight

June 12, 2012 11:51 am | News | Comments

Even at the nanoscale, hybrids show promise—as evidenced by new efforts to pair inorganic nanoparticles with conductive polymers to convert sunlight into electricity or build better biosensors. To make the most of these molecular matchups, however, scientists need to understand the small-scale details of charge transfer—and how to control it.

Moon glass bubble discovery explains weird lunar soil behavior

June 12, 2012 6:44 am | News | Comments

Scientists had long observed the unusual properties of lunar topsoil but had not taken much notice of the microparticles and nanoparticles found in the soil and their source was unknown. When these tiny glass bubbles were examined, they differed greatly from what is usually found in similar structures on Earth.

Potential carbon capture role for new carbon dioxide-absorbing material

June 12, 2012 4:03 am | News | Comments

A novel porous material that has unique carbon dioxide retention properties has been developed through research led by The University of Nottingham. The findings form part of ongoing efforts to develop new materials for gas storage applications could have an impact in the advancement of new carbon capture products for reducing emissions from fossil fuel processes.

Study finds new evidence supporting impact theory

June 11, 2012 10:21 pm | News | Comments

An 18-member international team of researchers has discovered melt-glass material in a thin layer of sedimentary rock in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Syria. According to the researchers, the material—which dates back nearly 13,000 years—was formed at temperatures of 1,700 to 2,200 C, and is the result of a cosmic body impacting Earth.

Microscopy reveals workings behind promising inexpensive catalyst

June 11, 2012 4:43 pm | News | Comments

In a search for an inexpensive alternative to platinum, a team including researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory turned to carbon to develop a multi-walled carbon nanotube complex that consists of cylindrical sheets of carbon. The complex featured the desired properties, but researchers didn’t know why until they tried an innovative mix of electron imaging and spectroscopy to understand the relationships at play.

A new spin on antifreeze

June 11, 2012 9:05 am | News | Comments

A team of researchers from Harvard University have invented a way to keep any metal surface free of ice and frost. The treated surfaces quickly shed even tiny, incipient condensation droplets or frost simply through gravity. The technology prevents ice sheets from developing on surfaces—and any ice that does form, slides off effortlessly.

Theorem unifies superfluids and other weird materials

June 11, 2012 5:01 am | News | Comments

Matter exhibits weird properties at very cold temperatures. Take superfluids, for example: discovered in 1937, they can flow without resistance forever, spookily climbing the walls of a container and dripping onto the floor. In the past 100 years, 11 Nobel Prizes have been awarded to nearly two dozen people for the discovery or theoretical explanation of such cold materials, yet a unifying theory of these extreme behaviors has eluded theorists, until now.

DARPA technology to cool chips from within

June 10, 2012 12:42 pm | News | Comments

Continued miniaturization and increased component density in today’s electronics have pushed heat generation and power dissipation to unprecedented levels. Current technology is keeping pace, but greatly adding to the size and weight of electronics. As a solution DARPA pursuing a new thermal management strategy that place microfluidic cooling inside the chip substrate.

New nanomaterials method answers tough challenges

June 8, 2012 9:42 am | News | Comments

When searching for the technology to boost computer speeds and improve memory density, the best things come in the smallest packages. A relentless move toward smaller and more precisely defined semiconductors has prompted researchers at Argonne National Laboratory to develop a new technique that can dramatically improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of preparing different classes of semiconducting materials.

Physicists discover mechanisms of wrinkle and crumple formation

June 8, 2012 9:09 am | News | Comments

Smooth wrinkles and sharply crumpled regions are familiar motifs in biological and synthetic sheets, such as plant leaves and crushed foils, say physicists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, but how a featureless sheet develops a complex shape has long remained elusive. Now, the physicists report that they have identified a fundamental mechanism by which such complex patterns emerge spontaneously.

Collaboration on nanoengineered synthetic diamond sets new record

June 8, 2012 5:21 am | News | Comments

Element Six working in partnership with Harvard University, California Institute of Technology, and Max-Planck Institute, has used its Element Six single crystal synthetic diamond grown by chemical vapor deposition to demonstrate the capability of quantum bit memory to exceed one second at room temperature.

Armored caterpillar could inspire new body armor

June 8, 2012 4:41 am | News | Comments

Military body armor and vehicle and aircraft frames could be transformed by incorporating the unique structure of the club-like arm of a crustacean that looks like an armored caterpillar, according to findings by a team of researchers at the University of California, Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering.

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