Quasi-periodic and random patterns in nature can exhibit extraordinary functions, such as iridescent color in bird wings, strong adhesion in gecko feet, and water repellency from lotus leaves. However, nature-inspired 3D nanostructures can be prohibitively expensive to make using modern nanoscale manufacturing processes. In new work, researchers a design approach integrated with scalable nanomanufacturing that can rapidly optimize and fabricate quasi-random photonic nanostructures.
Chiral metamaterials with strong chiroptical properties are an interesting new platform for optical signal modulation. Although plasmonic super chiral fields have been successfully applied to detect the chiral structures of proteins, it has remained challenging to detect the structural handedness of drug molecules due to their small size and thinner film adsorbed on the surface of metamaterials. Researchers now have reported a new type of plasmonic chiral metamaterial by stacking two layers of identical achiral gold nanohole arrays into moire patterns.
Three-dimensional (3D) printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a fabrication method that creates structures from digital models. Unlike conventional fabrication methods, 3D printing processes are bottom-up fabrication methods which are based on the incremental addition of layers of materials. Recently, 3D-printing has also been shown to be advantageous to catalytic applications since a printing approach can achieve better control of the fine structure of the target material. It is expected that 3D printing fabrication will provide new solutions for preparing catalysts with new structures in a more economical and energy-efficient way.
Sometimes nanoscale diamonds contain a specific type of impurity: a single nitrogen atom where a carbon atom should be, with an empty space right next to it, resulting from a second missing carbon atom. This nitrogen-vacancy (NV) impurity gives each nanodiamond special optical and electromagnetic properties. Nitrogen vacancy centers in nanodiamonds require a method to manipulate their electron spin orientations physically. Recent work demonstrates a general active NV system: Nanodiamond swimmers that self-propel.
Since the early days of molecular electronics, tremendous progress has been achieved both theoretically and experimentally by scientists and engineers who were fascinated by intriguing physical, chemical phenomena, and potential device applications of molecular junctions. In a recent paper, scientists review recent experimental efforts for pursuing high-yield functional molecular devices, in which a bundle of molecules (the contacted molecules number more than 1000) is contained in a junction.
Researchers have demonstrated a fully integrated and packaged wireless sensor for environmental monitoring applications. The disposable sensor was developed using low-cost additive manufacturing technologies; namely, inkjet printing and 3D printing. This is a demonstration of 3D-printed fully-integrated System-on-Package (SoP) employing inkjet-printed sensors. This work could pave the way for low-cost disposable fully integrated wireless sensor nodes.
In new work, a research team has developed a general synthesis strategy by employing graphene oxide as a sacrificial template to prepare various 2D holey transition metal oxide (TMO) nanosheets, including mixed metal oxides and simple metal oxides. This approach is universal for the synthesis of various 2D holey TMO nanosheets including mixed transition-metal oxides and simple oxides. This unique holey structure can minimize the restacking of 2D nanosheets and provide more active sites for alkali-ion storage.
Inspired by octopus arms, researchers demonstrate an uncomplicated and scalable templating technology for fabricating nanosuckers on PDMS substrates, using a scalable spin-coating technology. As the nanosuckers are pressed against a substrate, the flexible nanosuckers confirm to the substrate and deform by releasing the internal air between nanosuckers and the substrate, forming a seal and generating an adhesion force. The nanosucker adhesion is maintained over multiple contact cycles on both wet and dry surfaces.