News Releases: Research Funded by Agencies Participating in the National Nanotechnology Initiative

The following news releases describe the results of research activities that are funded by Federal agencies that participate in the National Nanotechnology Initiative.
  • December 16, 2019
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy)

    Researchers at Wake Forest University have created a new, carbon-neutral process that uses silver diphosphide nanocrystals as a novel catalyst to convert carbon dioxide pollution from manufacturing plants to a material called syngas, from which liquid fuel is made. The new catalyst allows the conversion of carbon dioxide into fuel with minimal energy loss, compared to the current state-of-the-art process.

  • December 16, 2019
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy)

    Researchers have unlocked the secret to one of the most useful nanostructures: the five-fold twin. Nanomaterials with this structure – the cross-section of which looks like a pie sliced into five symmetrical pieces – are used in medical research for imaging and tracking cancerous tumors and in electronics, where they are valued for their mechanical strength. The researchers discovered two different mechanisms for forming five-fold twinned nanostructures, both of which are shaped by the accumulation and elimination of strain toward an ideal shape that eliminates all strain.

  • December 11, 2019
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy)

    An international team co-led by an Oregon State University chemistry researcher has uncovered a better way to scrub carbon dioxide from smokestack emissions, which could be a key to mitigating global climate change. The researchers used data mining to deal with the water portion of smokestack gases, which greatly complicates removing the carbon dioxide. The data mining involved hundreds of thousands of nanomaterials known as metal organic frameworks, which can intercept carbon dioxide molecules as the flue gases make their way out of the smokestack.

  • December 11, 2019
    (Funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the US Army Research Office, and the National Science Foundation)

    Scientists have presented a general framework for incorporating and correcting for nonclassical electromagnetic phenomena in nanoscale systems. The framework extends the validity of the macroscopic electromagnetism into the nanoscale regime, bridging the scale gap.

  • December 09, 2019
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health)

    Scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine report that they have created a tiny, nano-size container that can slip inside cells and deliver protein-based medicines and gene therapies of any size — even hefty ones attached to a gene-editing tool called CRISPR. If their creation — constructed of a biodegradable polymer — passes more laboratory testing, it could offer a way to efficiently ferry larger medical compounds into specifically selected target cells.

  • December 05, 2019
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy)

    Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have adapted a cryogenic electron microscope to visualize a soft material's atomic structure while keeping it intact. The researchers made nanosheets in solution from short protein-like molecules, called peptoids, that could advance a number of applications, such as synthetic, disease-specific antibodies and self-repairing membranes or tissue.

  • December 04, 2019
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation)

    Researchers at the University of Delaware have shown for the first time that the old carbon found on the seafloor can be directly linked to submicron graphite particles emanating from hydrothermal vents. To conduct their study, the researchers used samples of nanoparticles from five different hydrothermal vent sites collected during a research expedition to the East Pacific Rise vent field in the Pacific Ocean. Then the researchers analyzed the samples under scanning and transmission microscopes at the National Center for Earth and Environmental Nanotechnology Infrastructure (NanoEarth) at Virginia Tech.

  • December 03, 2019
    (Funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Science Foundation)

    Metalenses—flat surfaces that use nanostructures to focus light—are poised to revolutionize microscopes, cameras, sensors, and displays. But so far, most of the lenses have been about the size of a piece of glitter. Now, researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have developed an all-glass, centimeter-scale metalens in the visible spectrum that can be manufactured using conventional chip fabrication methods.

  • December 02, 2019
    (Funded by the Office of Naval Research)

    Researchers at Rice and Swansea universities have developed a technique to use inexpensive newsprint harvested from newspapers to grow carbon nanotubes for industry. More specifically, the scientists have shown that a particular kind of newsprint can be treated to serve as a three-dimensional substrate for single-walled carbon nanotube growth.

  • December 02, 2019
    (Funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Energy)

    Perovskite nanocrystals hold promise for improving a wide variety of optoelectronic devices, but problems with their durability still limit the material's broad commercial use. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have demonstrated a novel approach aimed at addressing the material's durability problem: encasing the perovskite inside a double-layer protection system made from plastic and silica.