Light Ripples Crystals
Light can trigger coordinated, wavelike motions of atoms in atom-thin layers of crystal, scientists have shown. The waves, called phonon polaritons, are far shorter than light waves and can be “tuned” to particular frequencies and amplitudes by varying the number of layers of crystal, they report today in the early online edition of Science.
These properties — observed in this class of material for the first time — open the possibility of using polaritons to convey information in tight spaces, create images at far finer resolution than is possible with light, and manage the flow of heat in nanoscale devices.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/03/light-ripples-crystals
Researchers Create Single-Atom Light Switch
With just a single atom, light can be switched between two fiber optic cables at the Vienna Univ. of Technology. Such a switch enables quantum phenomena to be used for information and communication technology.
Fiber optic cables are turned in to a quantum lab: scientists are trying to build optical switches at the smallest possible scale in order to manipulate light. At the Vienna Univ. of Technology, this can now be done using a single atom. Conventional glass fiber cables, which are used for internet data transfer, can be interconnected by tiny quantum systems.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/11/researchers-create-single-atom-light-switch
As electronics approach the atomic scale, researchers are increasingly successful at developing atomically thin, virtually two-dimensional materials that could usher in the next generation of computing. Integrating these materials to create necessary circuits, however, has remained a challenge.
Northwestern Univ. researchers have now taken a significant step toward fabricating complex nanoscale electronics. By integrating two atomically thin materials – molybdenum disulfide and carbon nanotubes — they have created a p-n heterojunction diode, an interface between two types of semiconducting materials.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/10/atomically-thin-device-key-new-electronics
Researchers Measure Nanometer Behavior in Plasmonic Structures
Recent progress in the engineering of plasmonic structures has enabled new kinds of nanometer-scale optoelectronic devices as well as high-resolution optical sensing. But until now, there has been a lack of tools for measuring nanometer-scale behavior in plasmonic structures which are needed to understand device performance and to confirm theoretical models.
“For the first time, we have measured nanometer-scale infrared absorption in semiconductor plasmonic microparticles using a technique that combines atomic force microscopy with infrared spectroscopy,” explains William King, a professor in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering (MechSE) at the Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Atomic force microscope infrared spectroscopy allows us to directly observe the plasmonic behavior within microparticle infrared antennas.”
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/04/researchers-measure-nanometer-behavior-plasmonic-structures
A team of scientists from the Univ. of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Northwestern Univ. has produced 3D images and videos of a tiny platinum nanoparticle at atomic resolution that reveal new details of defects in nanomaterials that have not been seen before.
Prior to this work, scientists only had flat, two-dimensional images with which to view the arrangement of atoms. The new imaging methodology developed at UCLA and Northwestern will enable researchers to learn more about a material and its properties by viewing atoms from different angles and seeing how they are arranged in three dimensions.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/03/3d-method-reveals-nanomaterial-defects
Drawing on powerful computational tools and a state-of-the-art scanning transmission electron microscope, a team of Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison and Iowa State Univ. materials science and engineering researchers has discovered a new nanometer-scale atomic structure in solid metallic materials known as metallic glasses.
Published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the findings fill a gap in researchers’ understanding of this atomic structure. This understanding ultimately could help manufacturers fine-tune such properties of metallic glasses as ductility, the ability to change shape under force without breaking, and formability, the ability to form a glass without crystallizing.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news-Researchers-Find-Atomic-Structures-of-Metallic-Glasses-051412.aspx
Atomic-Scale Visualization Key to Improved Superconductors
By measuring how strongly electrons are bound together to form Cooper pairs in an iron-based superconductor, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cornell Univ., St. Andrews Univ., and collaborators provide direct evidence supporting theories in which magnetism holds the key to this material’s ability to carry current with no resistance. Because the measurements take into account the electronic bands and directions in which the electrons are traveling, which was central to testing the theoretical predictions, this research strengthens confidence that this type of theory may one day be used to identify or design new materials with improved properties — namely, superconductors operating at temperatures far higher than today’s. The findings are published in today’s, May 4, 2012, issue of Science.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news-Atomic-scale-Visualization-is-Key-to-Improved-Superconductors-050412.aspx
Through a combination of atomic-scale materials design and ultrafast measurements, researchers at the Univ. of Illinois have revealed new insights about how heat flows across an interface between two materials. The researchers demonstrated that a single layer of atoms can disrupt or enhance heat flow across an interface. Their results are published this week in Nature Materials.
Improved control of heat exchange is a key element to enhancing the performance of current technologies such as integrated circuits and combustion engines as well as emerging technologies such as thermoelectric devices, which harvest renewable energy from waste heat. However, achieving control is hampered by an incomplete understanding of how heat is conducted through and between materials.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news-Researchers-Control-Heat-Flow-on-Atomic-Level-042312.aspx
X-Ray Light Makes Clear Atomic Nuclei
At the high-brilliance synchrotron light source PETRA III, a team of Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) scientists headed by Ralf Röhlsberger has succeeded in making atomic nuclei transparent with the help of X-ray light. At the same time they have also discovered a new way to realize an optically controlled light switch that can be used to manipulate light with light, an important ingredient for efficient future quantum computers. The research results are presented in the current edition of the scientific journal Nature.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news-X-Ray-Light-Makes-Clear-Atomic-Nuclei-020912.aspx
Atomic X-Ray Laser Has Shortest, Purest Pulses
Scientists working at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have created the shortest, purest X-ray laser pulses ever achieved, fulfilling a 45-year-old prediction and opening the door to a new range of scientific discovery. The researchers, reporting in Nature, aimed SLAC’s Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) at a capsule of neon gas, setting off an avalanche of X-ray emissions to create the world’s first “atomic X-ray laser.”
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news-Atomic-X-Ray-Laser-Has-Shortest-Purest-Pulses-012612.aspx
Researchers Solve High-Voltage Mystery
If solar cells could generate higher voltages when sunlight falls on them, they’d produce more electrical power more efficiently. For over half a century scientists have known that ferroelectrics, materials whose atomic structure allows them to have an overall electrical polarization, can develop very high photovoltages under illumination. Until now, no one has figured out exactly how this photovoltaic process occurs.