Researchers have developed various assembly approaches, including self-assembly and electric/magnetic field directed assembly, to build diverse colloidal matters. These techniques feature high throughput but with limited structural configurations. Specifically, some of the techniques highly rely on the physical performance of the colloidal particles. In new work, researchers have developed a versatile colloidal assembly strategy - termed opto-thermophoretic assembly (OTA) - to build artificial colloidal matter in a wide range of colloidal materials, sizes, and shape.
The implantation of orthopaedic devices is associated with a high risk of post-operative complications that increases substantially with each revision surgery. Researchers now have proposed a two-pronged strategy to address this outstanding clinical problem by combatting infections and providing bioactivity for titanium implants. Their nanostructured surfaces simultaneously are highly antimicrobial as well as bioactive - the goal of combining both functions without inducing cytotoxicity has thus far proved elusive.
Molecular ferroelectrics are highly desirable as they are environmentally friendly, light-weight, and high spontaneous polarized. Though intensive studies have been focused on molecular ferroelectrics, very few researchers have tried to address the issue of thin film growth. An international research team now presents the first report on the preparation of high-quality large area MOFE films using in-plane liquid phase growth. With this approach, different kinds of novel ferroelectric films can be grown for potential practical applications such as temperature sensing, data storage, actuation, energy harvesting and storage.
Due to their unique interlayer coupling and optoelectronic properties, van der Waals heterostructures are of considerable interest for the next generation nanoelectronics. Conventional 2D heterostructures usually are composed of two layers of opposite charge carrier type using inorganic materials. One of the challenges when creating 2D heterostructures is the painstaking stacking of the individual components on top of each other. Researchers have now found, for the first time, that there can also be charge transfer (CT) induced interfacial coupling between two different pairs of organic CT layers.
Quasi-periodic and random patterns in nature can exhibit extraordinary functions, such as iridescent color in bird wings, strong adhesion in gecko feet, and water repellency from lotus leaves. However, nature-inspired 3D nanostructures can be prohibitively expensive to make using modern nanoscale manufacturing processes. In new work, researchers a design approach integrated with scalable nanomanufacturing that can rapidly optimize and fabricate quasi-random photonic nanostructures.
Chiral metamaterials with strong chiroptical properties are an interesting new platform for optical signal modulation. Although plasmonic super chiral fields have been successfully applied to detect the chiral structures of proteins, it has remained challenging to detect the structural handedness of drug molecules due to their small size and thinner film adsorbed on the surface of metamaterials. Researchers now have reported a new type of plasmonic chiral metamaterial by stacking two layers of identical achiral gold nanohole arrays into moire patterns.
Three-dimensional (3D) printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a fabrication method that creates structures from digital models. Unlike conventional fabrication methods, 3D printing processes are bottom-up fabrication methods which are based on the incremental addition of layers of materials. Recently, 3D-printing has also been shown to be advantageous to catalytic applications since a printing approach can achieve better control of the fine structure of the target material. It is expected that 3D printing fabrication will provide new solutions for preparing catalysts with new structures in a more economical and energy-efficient way.
Sometimes nanoscale diamonds contain a specific type of impurity: a single nitrogen atom where a carbon atom should be, with an empty space right next to it, resulting from a second missing carbon atom. This nitrogen-vacancy (NV) impurity gives each nanodiamond special optical and electromagnetic properties. Nitrogen vacancy centers in nanodiamonds require a method to manipulate their electron spin orientations physically. Recent work demonstrates a general active NV system: Nanodiamond swimmers that self-propel.