Although terahertz spectroscopy has great potential, especially for environmental monitoring and security screening applications, it previously could not be used effectively to study nanocrystals or molecules at extremely low concentrations. An international team has found a solution to this problem by increasing the technique's sensitivity using metallic nanostructures.
Researchers have experimentally demonstrated, for the first time, the phenomenon of Brillouin Scattering Induced Transparency (BSIT), which can be used to slow down, speed up, and block light in an optical waveguide. The BSIT phenomenon permits light to travel in the forward direction while light traveling in the backward direction is strongly absorbed.
Scientists have shown that a micromotor fueled by stomach acid can take a bubble-powered ride inside a mouse. These tiny motors, each about one-fifth the width of a human hair, may someday offer a safer and more efficient way to deliver drugs or diagnose tumors.
Friction impacts motion, hence the need to control friction forces. Currently, this is accomplished by mechanistic means or lubrication, but experiments conducted by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have uncovered a way of controlling friction on ionic surfaces at the nanoscale using electrical stimulation and ambient water vapor.
Health care workers must diagnose and isolate Ebola victims at an early stage to have a chance to save them and prevent the virus from spreading. But the most sensitive and quickest diagnostic test produces a small percentage of false negative results that undermine efforts to control the deadly agent. A $100,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant has been awarded to develop a method to reduce the risk of the virus going undetected.
A potential avenue to quantum computing currently generating quite the buzz in the high-tech industry is 'valleytronics', in which information is coded based on the wavelike motion of electrons moving through certain two-dimensional (2D) semiconductors. Now, a promising new pathway to valleytronic technology has been uncovered.
Researchers have discovered that the insulation plastic used in high-voltage cables can withstand a 26 per cent higher voltage if nanometer-sized carbon balls are added. This could result in enormous efficiency gains in the power grids of the future, which are needed to achieve a sustainable energy system.
Therapeutic oligonucleotide analogs represent a new and promising family of drugs that act on nucleic acid targets such as RNA or DNA; however, their effectiveness has been limited due to difficulty crossing the cell membrane. A new delivery approach based on cell-penetrating peptide nanoparticles can efficiently transport charge-neutral oligonucleotide analogs into cells.