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

The following press releases describe the results of research activities that are funded by Federal agencies that participate in the National Nanotechnology Initiative.
  • September 27, 2019
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation)

    Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists and seven other institutions, led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have identified critical gaps in the understanding of the nanoscale hydrodynamics, molecular sieving, fluidic structure, and thermodynamics of nanopores that are less than 10 nanometers in diameter. Filling these knowledge gaps could lead to new membranes for water purification, as well as new gas-permeable materials and energy storage devices.

  • September 27, 2019
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the National Institutes of Health)

    Scientists have used advanced imaging techniques that can measure and visualize in color the orientation of individual enamel nanocrystals in human teeth. They found that these crystals are not perfectly aligned, as had been previously thought, and that this misorientation likely deflects cracks, leading to enamel's lifelong strength.

  • September 26, 2019
    Funded by the National Science Foundation

    Chemists at Rice University have discovered that bovine serum albumin is prone to pushing gold nanorods into right-handed chiral assemblies. The work suggests that it may become possible to sense the handedness, or chirality, of single proteins – a potential boon for pharmaceutical companies that require drug purity. A molecule with the correct chirality can save a life, while the same molecule of the opposite chirality can be highly toxic.

  • September 26, 2019
    (Funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research)

    Researchers at the University of Delaware have designed an integrated photonics platform with a one-dimensional metalens – a thin lens that can be designed at the nanoscale to focus light – and metasurfaces – tiny surfaces made with nanostructures to manipulate the transmitted or reflected light. This new device could have applications in imaging, sensing, and quantum information processing.

  • September 25, 2019
    (Funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Army Research Office)

    Quantum computing has the potential to revolutionize technology, medicine, and science by providing faster and more efficient processors, sensors, and communication devices. But transferring information and correcting errors within a quantum system remains a challenge to making effective quantum computers. Now researchers from Purdue University and the University of Rochester have demonstrated a method of relaying information by transferring the state of electrons. The research brings scientists one step closer to creating fully functional quantum computers.

  • September 24, 2019
    (Funded by the Army Research Office, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the US Army Research Laboratory)

    To help study entire neuronal networks comprising thousands of interconnected cells, researchers at Harvard University have created an electronic chip on which neurons can grow while their electrical activity is closely monitored. The technology has allowed the team to create synaptic connectivity maps with hundreds of unique connections.

  • September 23, 2019
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation)

    If you’ve ever dropped your smartphone on a concrete floor, you know that dreaded feeling as you turn it over to see how badly the screen has cracked — but that stress may soon be a thing of the past. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have discovered a way to make glass less brittle and less likely to break.

  • September 23, 2019
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation)

    Researchers at Northwestern University and Columbia University have developed a tiny nanolaser that can function inside living tissues without harming them. The laser, which is about 1/1,000th the thickness of a single human hair, has the potential to sense disease biomarkers or perhaps treat deep-brain neurological disorders, such as epilepsy.

  • September 23, 2019
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation)

    Harnessing light's energy into nanoscale volumes requires novel engineering approaches to overcome a fundamental barrier known as the “diffraction limit.” Now, researchers at the University of Illinois College of Engineering have breached this barrier by developing nanoantennas that pack the energy captured from light sources, such as light-emitting diodes, into particles with nanometer-scale diameters, making it possible to detect individual biomolecules, catalyze chemical reactions, and generate photons with desirable properties for quantum computing.

  • September 19, 2019
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation)

    Researchers at Rice's Brown School of Engineering have created what may be viewed as the world's smallest incandescent light bulb. Composed of near-nanoscale materials that absorb heat and emit light, this light source promises to advance sensing, photonics, and perhaps computing platforms beyond the limitations of silicon.

Pages