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

(Funded by the National Science Foundation)

Researchers at Rice University have identified a novel, second level of fluorescence by carbon nanotubes. The Rice University team discovered that single-walled nanotubes emit a delayed secondary fluorescence when triggered by a multistep process in a solution with dye molecules and dissolved oxygen. Potential applications for the findings include optoelectronics and solar energy developments.

(Funded by the National Institutes of Health)

Scientists at Washington State University have used human white blood cell membranes to carry two drugs, an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory, directly to infected lungs in mice. The nano-sized drug delivery method successfully treated both the bacterial growth and inflammation in the mice's lungs. The study shows a potential new strategy for treating infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

(Funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration)

Researchers at Columbia University report that they have achieved plasmonically active graphene with record-high charge density without an external gate. They accomplished this by exploiting novel interlayer charge transfer with a two-dimensional (2D) electron-acceptor known as α-RuCl3. α-RuCl3 is unique among nanomaterials because it has an exceptionally high work function even when it is exfoliated down to a one- or few-atom-thick 2D layers.

(Funded by the National Science Foundation)

Researchers at Penn State are beginning to understand the behavior of so-called "active" particles, which, if controlled, has potential implications for smart 3D printing and engineered drug delivery systems. The particles – which can be biological but, in this case, are cylindrical platinum-gold nanorods smaller than a red blood cell – flow in a fluid through a micro-channel into a tapered nozzle. Once collected there, they can be used in additive manufacturing to 3D-print objects or to deliver therapeutics directly to cells.

(Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation)

Researchers at Drexel University have developed antennas that are so thin they can be sprayed into place and robust enough they can provide a strong signal at bandwidths that will be used by fifth-generation (5G) mobile devices. The new antennas, which are made from a two-dimensional material called MXene, are already performing nearly as well as the copper antennas found in most mobile devices on the market today, but with the benefit of being just a fraction of their thickness and weight.

(Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the National Science Foundation)

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have created the smallest memory device yet, shrinking the cross section area down to just a single square nanometer. In the process, the researchers figured out the physics dynamic that unlocks dense memory storage capabilities for these tiny devices. Defects, or holes in the material, provide the key to unlocking the high-density memory storage capability.

(Funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation)

Researchers at the University of California Santa Cruz have achieved the first direct visualization of quantum dots in bilayer graphene, revealing the shape of the quantum wave function of the trapped electrons. This work provides information needed to develop quantum devices based on this system.

(Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation)

Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, Yale University, and the University of Pennsylvania have built a first-of-its-kind automated tool for depositing films with finely controlled blend compositions made of up to three components onto single samples. Although the researchers focused on a self-assembling polymer system, the platform can be used to explore blends of a variety of materials such as polymers, nanoparticles, and small molecules. 

(Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation)

Researchers at Yale University have developed a procedure that can replicate surface structures at the atomic scale – a breakthrough that could lead to better catalysts and improved data storage. This process involves heating a metallic glass alloy containing mainly platinum and then compressing it so that it flows into the mold. The process is similar to routine molding techniques used with polymer-based plastics to make toys and casings, but on a much smaller scale.

(Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the National Science Foundation)

Researchers at MIT and other institutions have found a way to control the growth of crystals of several kinds of metal organic frameworks. This discovery makes it possible to produce crystals large enough to be probed by a battery of tests, enabling the team to decode the structure of these materials, which look like the two-dimensional hexagonal lattices of materials, such as graphene.