Bend them, stretch them, twist them, fold them: modern materials that are light, flexible and highly conductive have extraordinary technological potential, whether as artificial skin or electronic paper. Making such concepts affordable enough for general use remains a challenge but a new way of working with copper nanowires and a PVA 'nano glue' could be a game-changer.
Pauling's Rules describe the principles governing the structure of complex ionic crystals. These rules essentially describe how the arrangement of atoms in a crystal is critically dependent on the size of the atoms, their charge and type of bonding. According to scientists, similar rules can be applied to prepare ionic colloidal crystals consisting of oppositely charged proteins and virus particles.
Researchers have produced nanoparticles surrounded by a group of smaller nanoparticles like a planet orbited by satellites. They equipped larger gold nanoparticles with special star-shaped polymers, which in turn bind to smaller gold nanoparticles.
Researchers have developed what they call a simple, one-step method to grow nanowires of germanium from an aqueous solution. Their process could make it more feasible to use germanium in lithium ion batteries.
One of the most promising technologies for future quantum circuits are photonic circuits, i.e. circuits based on light (photons) instead of electrons (electronic circuits). First, it is necessary to create a stream of single photons and control their direction. Researchers around the world have made all sorts of attempts to achieve this, but now scientists have succeeded in creating a steady stream of photons emitted one at a time and in a particular direction.
Glass has many applications that call for different properties, such as resistance to thermal shock or to chemically harsh environments. Glassmakers commonly use additives such as boron oxide to tweak these properties by changing the atomic structure of glass. Now researchers have for the first time captured atoms in borosilicate glass flipping from one structure to another as it is placed under high pressure.
Researchers have developed a synthetic virus. This can be used in the future to 'package' new generations of medicines consisting of large biomolecules and to deliver them into diseased cells, by a natural process.