In a typical experiment involving biological material such as nanoscale hairs, it would usually be sufficient to use an electron microscope to create an image of the surface of the specimen. This research, however, required to look inside the ant hairs and produce a cross-section of the structure's interior. The relatively weak beam of electrons from a standard electron microscope would not be able to penetrate the surface of the sample.
Researchers first to show that Saharan silver ants can control electromagnetic waves over an extremely broad range of the electromagnetic spectrum--findings may lead to biologically inspired coatings for passive radiative cooling of objects.
Researchers have found an easy way to produce carbon nanoparticles that are small enough to evade the body's immune system, reflect light in the near-infrared range for easy detection, and carry payloads of pharmaceutical drugs to targeted tissues.
Scientists have demonstrated through computer simulations that the enhancement of fluctuations in a liquid's structure plays an important role as a liquid becomes a solid near the glass-transition point, a temperature below the melting point. This result increases our understanding of the origin of the glass transition and is expected to shed new light on the structure of liquids, thought until now to have been uniform and random.
Researchers have developed a 'placenta-on-a-chip' to study the inner workings of the human placenta and its role in pregnancy. The device was designed to imitate, on a micro-level, the structure and function of the placenta and model the transfer of nutrients from mother to fetus.
Using grazing incidence small angle x-ray scattering (GISAXS) and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), very small differences in the distribution of coated-nanoparticle membranes were detected and found to be responsible for their folding into tubular structures. Molecular dynamics simulations show this is related to surface molecular packing density and mobility.
Researchers produced a high-storage-capacity, lithium-germanide battery and demonstrated how their unique NMR 'camera' can be used to examine it and gather data about reactions that can be observed only as they are happening inside a battery.
A multi-institutional team of scientists has taken an important step in understanding where atoms are located on the surfaces of rough materials, information that could be very useful in diverse commercial applications, such as developing green energy and understanding how materials rust.
Today, the Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking suggestions for Nanotechnology-Inspired Grand Challenges for the Next Decade. A Grand Challenge is an ambitious but achievable goal that requires advances in science and technology to achieve, and that has the potential to capture the public's imagination.