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.
  • June 16, 2020
    (Funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health)

    Researchers at Purdue University have created a novel wearable patch with nanoneedles, enabling unobtrusive drug delivery through the skin for the management of skin cancers. The bioresorbable silicon nanoneedles are built on a thin, flexible, and water-soluble medical film that can be interfaced with the surface of the skin during the insertion of the nanoneedles. The silicon nanoneedles are biocompatible and dissolvable in tissue fluids, so they can be completely resorbed in the body over months in a harmless manner.

  • June 15, 2020
    (Funded by the U.S. Army Research Office, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation)

    Scientists at Rice University have identified a small set of two-dimensional compounds that, when placed together, allow excitons to form spontaneously. Excitons are quasiparticles that exist when electrons and holes briefly bind; they generally happen when energy from light or electricity boosts electrons and holes into a higher state. But in a few of the combinations predicted by the scientists, excitons were observed stabilizing at the materials' ground state. The discovery shows promise for electronic, spintronic, and quantum computing applications.

  • June 15, 2020
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation)

    Among the unique qualities of graphene is that layers of it can be stacked on top of each other, like Lego pieces, to create artificial electronic materials. But efficient methods for building these structures – and, more generally, atomically thin graphene-like materials that are placed on top of each other – are still lacking. Now, a team of researchers from New York University and the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan has found a versatile method for the construction of these structures.

  • June 15, 2020
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation)

    Among the unique qualities of graphene is that layers of it can be stacked on top of each other, like Lego pieces, to create artificial electronic materials. But efficient methods for building these structures – and, more generally, atomically thin graphene-like materials that are placed on top of each other – are still lacking. Now, a team of researchers from New York University and the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan has found a versatile method for the construction of these structures.

  • June 15, 2020
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Army Research Office)

    In 2018, scientists discovered that two layers of graphene that are twisted one with respect to the other by a very small, well-defined angle show a variety of interesting quantum phases, including superconductivity, magnetism, and insulating behaviors. Now, a team of researchers from MIT and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel have discovered that these quantum phases come from a previously unknown high-energy “parent state,” with an unusual breaking of symmetry.

  • June 12, 2020
    (Funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Department of Defense, the Office of Naval Research, and the National Science Foundation)

    A research team at The City University of New York, in collaboration with The University of Texas at Austin, National University of Singapore, and Monash University in Australia, has used ''twistronics'' concepts (the science of layering and twisting two-dimensional materials to control their electrical properties) to manipulate the flow of light. The findings hold the promise for advances in a variety of light-driven technologies, including nano-imaging devices; high-speed, low-energy optical computers; and biosensors.

  • June 11, 2020
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology)

    Researchers at North Dakota State University have developed a new method of creating quantum dots made of silicon. While traditional methods for creating silicon quantum dots require dangerous materials, such as silicon tetrahydride gas or hydrofluoric acid, the team’s research uses a liquid form of silicon to make the tiny particles at room temperature using relatively benign components.

  • June 11, 2020
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation)

    Place a single sheet of carbon atop another at a slight angle, and remarkable properties emerge, including the resistance-free flow of current known as superconductivity. Now, a team of researchers at Princeton has looked for the origins of this unusual behavior in a material known as magic-angle twisted bilayer graphene and detected signatures of a cascade of energy transitions that could help explain how superconductivity arises in this material. 

  • June 11, 2020
    (Funded by the National Institutes of Health)

    Scientists at Texas A&M University have developed a new class of 2D nanosheets that can adsorb near infrared light and convert it into heat. Near-infrared light can penetrate deep inside human tissue compared to other types of light, including ultraviolet and visible light, and can be used to stimulate natural biological repair mechanisms in deep tissue. Due to their high-surface area, the nanosheets can stick to the outer membrane of a cell and transmit a cellular signal to the nucleus, thereby controlling the cell’s behavior.

  • June 09, 2020
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation)

    Computational catalysis, a field that simulates and accelerates the discovery of catalysts for the production of chemicals, has largely been limited to simulations of idealized catalyst structures that do not necessarily represent structures under realistic reaction conditions. Now, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Politecnico di Milano in Milan, Italy, are paving the way for the simulation of realistic catalysts under reaction conditions. In particular, the researchers studied how metal nanoparticles that are used as catalysts can change morphology in a reactive environment and how this morphology change can affect their catalytic behavior.