Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) either cannot be combined adequately with other materials, or if they can be combined, they then lose their beneficial properties. Scientists have now developed an alternative method, with which CNTs can be combined with other materials, so that they retain their characteristic properties.
Scientists take advantage of electron microscopes to see tiny nanostructures in fine detail and learn what happens when they are exposed to heat, radiation, and mechanical forces. One area they are interested in are nanostructured metal alloys (metals mixed with other elements) that incorporate nanometer-sized features into classical materials to enhance their performance.
An international team of researchers use tiny silicon nano-cylinders as the ultra-stable hands of a clock. Using a laser to levitate the tiny rod, they make the nano-hands tick with pulses of polarized light.
An international team of researchers has examined the optical and dielectric properties of thin macroscopic films based on single-walled carbon nanotubes and obtained an explanation for the metallic nature of their conductivity using infrared and terahertz spectroscopy.
Topological insulators are new materials with special electronic properties and are of great fundamental and applications-oriented interest. Nevertheless, physicists have wrestled with a ten-year-old puzzle in which the results from the two best methods to probe their electronic states disagree. Researchers now know exactly why.
Researchers have suggested a new solar cell coating that combines features of an electrode and those of a light-trapping structure. The coating enabled them to cut down on reflected light and avoid solar cell overheating, thus increasing its overall efficiency by 20%.