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Graphene imperfections key to creating hypersensitive 'electronic nose'

24-09-2014

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

23-07-2014

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

07-05-2014

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

25-04-2014

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

15-04-2014

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'

08-04-2014

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

25-03-2014

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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Potential way to make graphene superconducting

SLAC, Stanford study identifies long-sought path toward engineering materials for super-efficient nanoelectronics

24-03-2014

Scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have discovered a potential way to make graphene – a single layer of carbon atoms with great promise for future electronics – superconducting, a state in which it would carry electricity with 100 ...

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Bionic plants

18-03-2014

Plants have many valuable functions: They provide food and fuel, release the oxygen that we breathe, and add beauty to our surroundings. Now, a team of MIT researchers wants to make plants even more useful by augmenting them with nanomaterials that could enhance their energy production and give ...

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Better remote-sensing explosive detectors

The beginning of the end of full-body scanners?

28-02-2014

Standing in a full-body scanner at an airport isn't fun, and the process adds time and stress to a journey. It also raises privacy concerns. Researchers now report in ACS' The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters a more precise and direct method for using that "terahertz" (THz) technology to ...

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