Quantum physics tell us that even massive particles can behave like waves, as if they could be in several places at once. This phenomenon is typically proven in the diffraction of a matter wave at a grating. In a European collaboration, researchers carried this idea to the extreme and observed the delocalization of molecules at the thinnest possible grating, a mask milled into a single layer of atoms.
'Flocking' or 'swarming' behavior is omnipresent in the living world, observed in birds, fish, and even bacteria. Strikingly similar collective action can also be seen in biomolecules within and between cells. New insights into how this action is coordinated at the biomolecular level are emerging from studies of a model system based on actin filaments.
Having generated quite a buzz with their hybrid system of semiconducting nanowires and bacteria that used electrons to synthesize carbon dioxide into acetate, researchers have now developed a hybrid system that produces renewable molecular hydrogen and uses it to synthesize carbon dioxide into methane, the primary constituent of natural gas.
Researchers describe the electron-transport properties of aromatic stacks aligned in a self-assembled cage, using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) based break-junction method. Both identical and different modular aromatic pairs are non-covalently bound and stacked within the molecular scaffold leading to a variety of fascinating electronic functions.
A team of physicists have taken a step toward making the essential building block of quantum computers out of pure light. Their advance has to do with a specific part of computer circuitry known as a 'logic gate'.
Using a succession of biological mechanisms, researchers have created linkages of polymer nanotubes that resemble the structure of a nerve, with many outthrust filaments poised to gather or send electrical impulses.
Researchers have discovered, for the first time, a new nanocomposite formed by the self-assembly of copper and a biological component that occurs under physiological conditions, which are similar those found in the human body and could be used in targeted drug delivery for fighting diseases such as cancer.
In Belgium a national register for nanomaterials will enter into force on 1st January 2016. This is of significant importance as companies will be required to inform their Committee for Protection and Prevention at Work (CPPW) of the registration of nanomaterials.
In several years our computers, nanoantennas and other kinds of equipment will operate on the base of photons, rather than electrons. Even now we are practically prepared to accomplish this switch. If it happens, the spheres studied by an international group of Russian, French and Spanish scientists will definitely be able to become one of the elementary components of new photonic devices.