Category archives: Nanotechnology

A closer look at peptide fibril assemblies

A closer look at peptide fibril assemblies

BiochemistryBiologyChemistryNanotechnology

By César Tomé

A new imaging technique can give scientists a much closer look at fibril assemblies, stacks of peptides like amyloid beta, most notably associated with Alzheimer’s disease. These cross-β fibril assemblies are also useful building blocks within designer biomaterials for medical applications, but their resemblance to their amyloid beta cousins, whose tangles are a symptom of […]

Parallel-channel nanocryotrons in magnetic fields

Parallel-channel nanocryotrons in magnetic fields

Condensed matterNanotechnologyParticle physicsPhysics

By César Tomé

Superconductors can carry large electrical currents without any resistance. One situation where they don’t carry currents without resistance is when there is too much current. By designing microscopic electronic components made from very thin superconductors, researchers can use this effect to create a switch, like a transistor. Nanowire superconducting switching devices (called nanocryotrons, or nTrons […]

Ultrasensitive molecular sensing with surface-enhanced infrared absorption (SEIRA)

Ultrasensitive molecular sensing with surface-enhanced infrared absorption (SEIRA)

Condensed matterMaterialsNanotechnologyQuantum physics

By César Tomé

Sensors are essential tools for detecting and analysing trace molecules in a variety of fields, including environmental monitoring, food safety, and public health. However, developing sensors with high enough sensitivity to detect these tiny amounts of molecules remains a challenge. One promising approach is surface-enhanced infrared absorption (SEIRA), which uses plasmonic nanostructures to amplify the […]

Counting single proteins with a superconducting nanowire 

Counting single proteins with a superconducting nanowire 

NanotechnologyQuantum physics

By César Tomé

The detection, identification, and analysis of macromolecules is needed in many areas of life sciences, including protein research, diagnostics, and analytics. Mass spectrometry is often used as a detection system for proteins – a method that typically separates charged particles (ions) according to their mass-to-charge-ratio and measures the intensity of the signals generated by a […]

How a lithium-ion battery electrode really works

How a lithium-ion battery electrode really works

Computer scienceMaterialsNanotechnology

By César Tomé

Billions of tiny particles packed into rechargeable lithium-ion battery electrodes are responsible for storing charge and making it available when it’s needed to do work. X-ray movies of this process show the particles absorbing and releasing lithium ions as the battery charges and discharges. Now, in an important step forward, researchers have used a type […]

Traditional understanding of heat transport, involving phonons, is not applicable to strong heat insulators

Traditional understanding of heat transport, involving phonons, is not applicable to strong heat insulators

EnergyMaterialsNanotechnologyPhysics

By César Tomé

Researchers have made significant progress in understanding the fundamental microscopic mechanisms that can be used to customize materials for heat insulation. This breakthrough represents a significant step forward in the continuous endeavour to understand heat transport, improve energy efficiency and promote sustainability. Heat transport plays a vital role in numerous scientific and industrial fields, including […]

Controlling the magnetic anisotropy of a transition metal complex

Controlling the magnetic anisotropy of a transition metal complex

DIPC Electronic PropertiesNanotechnology

By DIPC

As candidates for high-density data storage and quantum computation, magnetic transition metal complexes have attracted extensive attention. It has been established that the atomic surroundings of the magnetic ions play a significant role and govern the magnetism of these magnetic complexes. One feature in particular, magnetic anisotropy, which describes the preferential orientation of the magnetic […]

Autonomous methods can discover new materials, faster

Autonomous methods can discover new materials, faster

Computer scienceMaterialsNanotechnology

By César Tomé

Scientists have successfully demonstrated that autonomous methods can discover new materials. The artificial intelligence (AI)-driven technique led to the discovery of three new nanostructures, including a first-of-its-kind nanoscale “ladder.” The newly discovered structures were formed by a process called self-assembly, in which a material’s molecules organize themselves into unique patterns. Scientists at Brookhaven’s Center for […]

A photonic picocavity in action

A photonic picocavity in action

NanotechnologyQuantum physics

By DIPC

Light emission from emitters is a valuable piece of information in a variety of sensing and detection techniques, capable of labeling physical and biological processes which occur in the proximity of the emitter. Furthermore, quantum technologies are currently exploiting the statistics of single-emitters light emission aiming at turning particular emitters into fundamental units to sustain […]