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.
  • June 13, 2019
    (Funded by the Army Research Office, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy)

    Scientists have found a way to turn graphene into a topological insulator – a material that is an insulator in its interior but is highly conducting on its surface. Realizing a topological insulator in graphene could provide a basis for low-dissipation ballistic electrical circuits or could form the material substrate for topologically protected quantum bits.

  • June 12, 2019
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation)

    Engineers have devised a way to pattern the surface of a diamond that makes it easier to collect light from the defects inside. Called a metalens, this surface structure contains nanoscale features that bend and focus the light emitted by the defects. This work could enable the creation of a system that would form the basis for compact quantum technologies.

  • June 12, 2019
    (Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy)

    Researchers have developed a nanostructure that could be used to improve the efficiency with which solar cells harvest energy from the sun. The nanostructure is composed of a light-harvesting protein, semiconducting nanocrystals, and a two-dimensional semiconducting transition metal only one atomic layer thick.

  • June 11, 2019
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation)

    Scientists from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The University of New Mexico, in collaboration with Century Darkroom, Toronto, have determined how the light scattered by the metallic nanoparticles on the surface of a daguerreotype determines the characteristics of its image, such as shade and color. The pioneering research provides an in-depth understanding of these 19th century photographs, which is crucial for their preservation.

  • June 11, 2019
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology)

    Researchers have developed nanobio-hybrid organisms that can use airborne carbon dioxide and nitrogen to produce a variety of plastics and fuels – a promising first step toward low-cost carbon sequestration and eco-friendly manufacturing of chemicals.

  • June 11, 2019
    (Funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology)

    Researchers have discovered that tiny circular regions of magnetism can be rapidly enlarged to provide a precise method of measuring the magnetic properties of nanoparticles. The technique provides manufacturers with a practical way to measure and improve the control of the properties of magnetic nanoparticles for a host of medical and environmental applications.

  • June 11, 2019
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation)

    Researchers at the University of Rochester have combined 2D materials with oxide materials in a new way, using a transistor-scale device platform. A small flake of a 2D material is deposited onto a ferroelectric material, and then a voltage is applied to the ferroelectric, causing the 2D material to stretch, which triggers a phase change that can completely change the way the material behaves.

  • June 10, 2019
    (Funded by the National Science Foundation)

    Scientists have created the world's first portable, inexpensive, optical nanoscopy tool that integrates a glass optical fiber with a silver nanowire condenser. The device is a high-efficiency round-trip light tunnel that squeezes visible light to the very tip of the condenser to interact with molecules locally and send back information about these molecules.

  • June 10, 2019
    (Funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research)

    Researchers have discovered that antennas made of carbon nanotube films are just as efficient as copper for wireless applications. They are also tougher, more flexible, and can essentially be painted onto devices.

  • June 10, 2019
    (Funded by the Office of Naval Research and the U.S. Department of Energy)

    Researchers have found a way to make the Casimir effect attract or repulse depending on the size of the gap between two objects. The Casimir effect is the phenomenon in which two tiny surfaces in close proximity experience a force that pulls them closer together. The researchers suggest their technique could be used in nanomechanical devices or in computers.

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