From the world of nanotechnology we've gotten electronic skin, or e-skin, and electronic eye implants or e-eyes. Now we're on the verge of electronic whiskers. Researchers with Berkeley Lab and the University of California (UC) Berkeley have created tactile sensors from composite films of carbon nanotubes and silver nanoparticles similar to the highly sensitive whiskers of cats and rats.
Researchers have introduced a new type of nanoscale SQUID based on optimised proximity effect bilayers. This consists of a noble metal (Au) layer as a thermal shunt which is integrated with a variable-thickness superconducting (Ti) layer. The noble metal layer helps control the superconducting transition temperature and the degree of heating in the device via the so-called superconducting proximity effect.
Many of the most interesting things in nature are transient, or far-from-equilibrium. To discover the secrets of far from equilibrium states, physicists need simple yet appealing laboratory systems. Now, researchers have created just such a system in the magnetic material known as 'spin ice'.
As part of an international research project, a team of researchers has developed a DNA clamp that can detect mutations at the DNA level with greater efficiency than methods currently in use. Their work could facilitate rapid screening of those diseases that have a genetic basis, such as cancer, and provide new tools for more advanced nanotechnology.
Scientists have demonstrated broadband terahertz wave generation using metamaterials. The discovery may help develop noninvasive imaging and sensing, and make possible terahertz-speed information communication, processing and storage.
Food scientist Hang Xiao is studying the biochemical fate of nanoemulsion-based food delivery systems in the gastrointestinal tract, hoping to enhance the absorption of beneficial food components encapsulated in delivery systems.
Using the interaction between light and charge fluctuations in metal nanostuctures called plasmons, a University of Arkansas physicist and his collaborators have demonstrated the capability of measuring temperature changes in very small 3-D regions of space.