These optical devices, made of graphene and a punctured gold surface, could become optical components for advanced applications, such as amplitude tunable lenses, lasers (i.e. vortex phase plates), and dynamic holography.
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.