If seeing is believing, C.K. Choi has a passion for clarity - in a very tiny world. The assistant professor of mechanical engineering's research lies at the micro-scale, in channels no thicker than a strand of hair.
Origami is capable of turning a simple sheet of paper into a pretty paper crane, but the principles behind the paper-folding art can also be applied to making a microfluidic device for a blood test, or for storing a satellite's solar panel in a rocket's cargo bay.
Researchers have found that stacking materials that are only one atom thick can create semiconductor junctions that transfer charge efficiently, regardless of whether the crystalline structure of the materials is mismatched - lowering the manufacturing cost for a wide variety of semiconductor devices such as solar cells, lasers and LEDs.
Bismuth nanowires have intriguing electronic and energy-harvesting application possibilities. However, fabricating these materials with high quality and in large quantities is challenging. Researchers have now demonstrated a new technique to produce single- crystal nanowires atop arbitrary substrates, including glass, silicon, and metal, when an intermediate layer of vanadium is present.
Scientists describe a novel protocol to obtain different types of nanostructures from a single helical polymer and certain metal salts. An outstanding characteristic of these macromolecules is that their helicity can be tuned by the action of diverse external stimuli such as temperature, polarity or metal ions. Consequently, these polymers act as sensors.
The LICARA guidelines are geared towards small and medium-sized enterprises from all branches of industry, and help weigh up the pros and cons of nanomaterials and make decisions on their use. The guidelines also do their bit towards efficient communication in the value added chain.
Researchers describe the successful implementation of imaging techniques that will allow scientists to identify molecules and map their locations to areas smaller than a micron. The team demonstrated the technique with natural samples, including a sample from the Murchison meteorite and a cometary dust grain (Iris) from NASA's Stardust mission.
Scientists have devised the first detailed model to quantify what they believe was the last unknown characteristic of film formation through deposition by vacuum sublimation and chemical vapor deposition.