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A cavity that you want

Engineers are developing an optical 'nanocavity' to boost light absorption in semiconductors; it could improve solar cells, cameras and more.

Posted: Feb 25th, 2014

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How to use light to manipulate the spin in topological insulators

Researchers investigated the topological insulator bismuth selenide by spin-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy. They found an astonishing difference depending on whether it is illuminated by circularly polarized light in the vacuum ultraviolet and in the ultraviolet spectral range. This result could help explaining how spin currents can be generated in topological insulators.

Posted: Feb 25th, 2014

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Carbon nanotubes improve polymers for aviation

New research aimed to improve the mechanical properties of poly(ether imide). Poly(ether imide) is a polymer that has very good mechanical and thermal properties and is used, among other things, to produce the internal parts of aircraft.

Posted: Feb 25th, 2014

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Building artificial cells will be a noisy business (w/video)

In vitro compartmentalization of biochemical reaction networks is a crucial step towards engineering artificial cell-scale devices and systems. At this scale the dynamics of molecular systems becomes stochastic, which introduces several engineering challenges and opportunities. In new work, researchers studied a programmable transcriptional oscillator system that is compartmentalized into microemulsion droplets with volumes between 33 fl and 16 pl.

Posted: Feb 25th, 2014

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Spinning nanoparticles coaxed into 'living' crystals

Simply making nanoparticles spin coaxes them to arrange themselves into what University of Michigan researchers call 'living rotating crystals' that could serve as a nanopump. They may also, incidentally, shed light on the origin of life itself.

Posted: Feb 25th, 2014

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Silver gone astray - nanoparticles in environment

A recent study conducted by the Swiss National Science Foundation revealed that the bulk of silver nanoparticles is retained in wastewater treatment plants, only little is known about the persistence and the impact of the residual nano-silver in the environment.

Posted: Feb 25th, 2014

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