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Opening a wide window on the nano-world of surface catalysis

A surface catalyst with a built-in sensor: that's what researchers built by bridging a size gap on the nanoscale. Their silver nanoparticles combine plasmon resonance with catalytic activity, making SERS and other analytical data available in real time on a surface catalyst.

Posted: Jun 6th, 2014

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Nanomaterials up close: Salt baskets (w/video)

'Nanomaterials Up Close' is a special series linked to our 'Under the Microscope' collection of videos produced by Cambridge University that show glimpses of the natural and man-made world in stunning close-up.

Posted: Jun 6th, 2014

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Researchers build optical invisibility cloak for a diffusive medium

Real invisibility cloaks are rather complex and work in certain situations only. The laws of physics prevent an optical invisibility cloak from making objects in air invisible for any directions, colors, and polarizations. If the medium is changed, however, it becomes much easier to hide objects. Physicists have now succeeded in manufacturing with relatively simple means and testing an ideal invisibility cloak for diffusive light-scattering media, such as fog or milk.

Posted: Jun 6th, 2014

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Electrical control of nuclear spin qubits

Researchers succeeded in making an important step towards quantum computers. Using a spin cascade in single-molecule magnet, the scientists demonstrated how nuclear spins can be manipulated with electric fields. Electric manipulation allows for a quick and specific switching of quantum bits.

Posted: Jun 6th, 2014

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DARPA Z-Man program demonstrates human climbing like geckos

DARPA's Z-Man program has demonstrated the first known human climbing of a glass wall using climbing devices inspired by geckos. The historic ascent involved a 218-pound climber ascending and descending 25 feet of glass, while also carrying an additional 50-pound load in one trial, with no climbing equipment other than a pair of hand-held, gecko-inspired paddles.Bio-inspired climbing technology could increase troop safety and freedom of maneuver.

Posted: Jun 5th, 2014

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Molecular self-assembly scales up from nanometers to millimeters

A joint effort of the Aalto University of Helsinki, the Politecnico di Milano, and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has now demonstrated that it is possible to align molecular self-assemblies from nanometers to millimeters without the intervention of external stimuli.

Posted: Jun 4th, 2014

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