Using atomic layer deposition, researchers deposited a thin film of nickel oxide onto a single crystal of titanium dioxide. Gold nanoparticles were introduced between the two layers to act like an antenna that harvests visible light.
By periodically jostling many individual atoms, researchers were able to shift an entire atomic cloud without any apparent overall motion by its constituents. The team is the first to test this predicted behavior, which arises in what they call a geometric charge pump.
Researchers have built a tabletop instrument that can perform measurements that were only previously possible at large national magnet labs. The measurements will help in the development of next generation electronic devices employing 2-D materials.
A breakthrough could make infra-red technology easy-to-use and cheap, potentially saving millions of dollars in defence and other areas using sensing devices, and boosting applications of technology to a host of new areas, such as agriculture.
In the minuscule world of nanotechnology, big steps are rare. But a recent development has the potential to massively improve our lives: an engine measuring 200 billionths of a metre, which could power tiny robots to fight diseases in living cells.
Scientists have advanced their graphene-based de-icer to serve a dual purpose. The new material still melts ice from wings and wires when conditions get too cold. But if the air is above 7 degrees Fahrenheit, ice won't form at all.