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Researchers build atomically thin gas and chemical sensors

03-Mar-2015

The relatively recent discovery of graphene, a two-dimensional layered material with unusual and attractive electronic, optical and thermal properties, led scientists to search for other atomically thin materials with unique properties.Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) has proved to be one of the most ...

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Researchers synthesize material for efficient plasmonic devices in mid-infrared range

18-Feb-2015

A research team led by North Carolina State University has identified and synthesized a material that can be used to create efficient plasmonic devices that respond to light in the mid-infrared (IR) range. This is the first time anyone has demonstrated a material that performs efficiently in ...

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Tattoo-like sensor can detect glucose levels without a painful finger prick

16-Jan-2015

Scientists have developed the first ultra-thin, flexible device that sticks to skin like a rub-on tattoo and can detect a person's glucose levels. The sensor, reported in a proof-of-concept study in the ACS journal Analytical Chemistry, has the potential to eliminate finger-pricking for many ...

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Graphene imperfections key to creating hypersensitive 'electronic nose'

24-Sep-2014

Researchers have discovered a way to create a highly sensitive chemical sensor based on the crystalline flaws in graphene sheets. The imperfections have unique electronic properties that the researchers were able to exploit to increase sensitivity to absorbed gas molecules by 300 times. The study ...

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Rice nanophotonics experts create powerful molecular sensor

Sensor amplifies optical signature of single molecules about 100 billion times

23-Jul-2014

Nanophotonics experts at Rice University have created a unique sensor that amplifies the optical signature of molecules by about 100 billion times. Newly published tests found the device could accurately identify the composition and structure of individual molecules containing fewer than 20 ...

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Genetic approach helps design broadband metamaterial

07-May-2014

A specially formed material that can provide custom broadband absorption in the infrared can be identified and manufactured using "genetic algorithms," according to Penn State engineers, who say these metamaterials can shield objects from view by infrared sensors, protect instruments and be ...

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A new shape using rubber bands

Form not found in nature could spur creation of new molecules

25-Apr-2014

While setting out to fabricate new springs to support a cephalopod-inspired imaging project, a group of Harvard researchers stumbled upon a surprising discovery: the hemihelix, a shape rarely seen in nature. This made the researchers wonder: Were the three-dimensional structures they observed ...

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Tiny particles could help verify goods

15-Apr-2014

Some 2 to 5 percent of all international trade involves counterfeit goods, according to a 2013 United Nations report. These illicit products — which include electronics, automotive and aircraft parts, pharmaceuticals, and food — can pose safety risks and cost governments and private companies ...

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Self-assembled superlattices create molecular machines with 'hinges' and 'gears'

08-Apr-2014

A combined computational and experimental study of self-assembled silver-based structures known as superlattices has revealed an unusual and unexpected behavior: arrays of gear-like molecular-scale machines that rotate in unison when pressure is applied to them. Computational and experimental ...

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Living materials

25-Mar-2014

Inspired by natural materials such as bone — a matrix of minerals and other substances, including living cells — MIT engineers have coaxed bacterial cells to produce biofilms that can incorporate nonliving materials, such as gold nanoparticles and quantum dots. These "living materials" combine ...

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