Press 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.
  • August 18, 2020
    (Funded in part by the U.S. Department of Defense)

    A research team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), DESY (German Electron Synchrotron, in Hamburg), and the University of Hamburg has, for the first time, succeeded in building nanoscale integrated electronic circuits that can capture light with the help of tiny antennas and determine the absolute phase of the light wave. 

  • August 18, 2020
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy)

    The ocean floor and the ground beneath our feet are riddled with tiny nanowires created by billions of bacteria that can generate electric currents from organic waste. Yale researchers have now described how this hidden power grid could be activated with a short jolt of electric field.

  • August 14, 2020
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation)

    Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are working to “immunize” plants against drought and extreme heat. The researchers sprayed tomato leaves with nanoparticles that release a temperature-programmed antimicrobial agent. The programmed release of antimicrobial agents occurred once temperatures within the plants reached 35-40 degrees Celsius.

  • August 13, 2020
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy)

    Researchers at Oregon State University have devised a new catalyst for the conversion of carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide via electrochemical reduction. The catalyst, which consists of nickel phthalocyanine molecules supported on carbon nanotubes, achieved carbon dioxide conversion performances that are superior to aggregated molecular catalysts in terms of stability, activity, and selectivity. 

  • August 13, 2020
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation)

    Engineers at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a system of nanoscale semiconductor strips that uses structural color interactions to eliminate the strips' intrinsic color entirely. Structural color comes from the interaction of light with microstructures or nanostructures on some surfaces, while intrinsic color comes from light reflected by some materials. Fine-tuning such a system has implications for holographic displays and optical sensors.

  • August 12, 2020
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy)

    According to research led by scientists at Rutgers University, graphene buckles when cooled while attached to a flat surface, resulting in beautiful pucker patterns. The scientists plan to develop ways to engineer buckled 2D materials with novel electronic and mechanical properties that could be beneficial in nano-robotics and quantum computing.

  • August 12, 2020
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation)

    Researchers at Texas A&M University have used a natural plant product, called cellulose nanocrystals, to pin and coat carbon nanotubes uniformly onto carbon-fiber composites. The researchers said their prescribed method is quicker than conventional methods and also allows the designing of carbon-fiber composites from the nanoscale.

  • August 07, 2020
    (Funded by the National Institutes of Health)

    Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a method that combines high-precision protein measurement with sticky nanoparticles to capture and analyze a common marker of heart disease and to reveal details that were previously inaccessible. The new method captures and measures various forms of the protein cardiac troponin I, a biomarker of heart damage currently used to help diagnose heart disease.

  • August 06, 2020
    (Funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy)

    On Feb. 18, 2020, a team of scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology reported something surprising about a 2-D magnetic material: Behavior that had long been presumed to be due to vibrations in the lattice—the internal structure of the atoms in the material itself—is actually due to a wave of spin oscillations. This week, the same group describes another surprise finding in a different 2-D magnetic material: Behavior presumed to be due to a wave of spin oscillations is actually due to vibrations in the lattice.

  • August 06, 2020
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy)

    Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have gained important new insight into how the performance of a promising semiconducting thin film can be optimized at the nanoscale for renewable energy technologies such as solar fuels.