Single molecule Raman spectroscopy of molecules on metal surfaces was achieved by means of optical field-enhancement from a scanning probe tip. This was made possible by the optical antenna configuration formed by optical coupling between metallic tip and the substrate.
Scientists at the University of Washington are developing natural polymer based nanofibers using electrospinning to mimic the native extracellular matrix of cartilage in terms of microstructure, mechanical properties, and chemical composition. This reesearch holds great implication for the generation of functional cartilage tissues to help the millions of people who suffer from degeneration of articular cartilage due to primary osteoarthritis or trauma.
Researchers in Germany report a novel approach for the design of environmental sensors based on fluorescence interference contrast (FLIC) of semiconductor nanocrystals near a reflecting silicon surface. Their method is based on nanocrystals incorporated into polymer layers grafted onto reflecting surfaces.
Researchers took inspiration from the packaging and transduction processes of the cochlea and cilia in the inner ear to design acoustic sensors made from nanowires. Specifically, they used nanowires of magnetostrictive materials as artificial cilia to sense acoustic signals. Any acoustic sensor application may benefit from this work.
Researchers in Singapore functionalized a polymer nanofiber membrane to capture chemical warfare agents such as nerve agents. The nanofibers in the membrane act as a substrate on which the nerve agents get physically adsorbed followed by chemical decomposition.
Silver single crystals were facilely synthesized on a large-scale with good reproducibility in water at room temperature in the presence of carboxyl-functionalized carbon nanotubes, without any additional reducing agent/electrochemical reducing, microwave, sonication or irradiations.
The sensitivity of solid-state gas sensors can be improved if the surface-to-volume ratio of the material used for the sensor is increased. An international group of researchers demonstrated that three-dimensional tungsten oxide nanowire networks can serve as a high-surface area material for building ultrasensitive and highly selective gas sensors. The results highlight that the 3-D nanowires technology can be adopted for the development of gas sensors with performances suitable for practical applications.
A newly developed electrostatic force directed assembly (ESFDA) technique is used to efficiently coat carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with nanoparticles. This new method advances the current technology by enabling rapid and in-situ coating of CNTs, multicomponent hybrid nanostructures, more control over the assembly process, and the possibility of tuning properties of the resulted hybrid structures.