NEWS 2017-11-07T06:16:55+00:00


Graphene makes good VUV photodetector

New generation semiconductor-based vacuum-ultraviolet (VUV) detectors that replace traditional heavy and energy-hungry microchannel detection systems could be used to better study how stars form and evolve. Making such detectors is proving to be no easy task, but a novel heterojunction device based on highly-crystalline, multi-step epitaxially-grown aluminium nitride (AlN) and p-type graphene shows promise here. The new detector has an encouraging VUV photoresponse and high external quantum efficiency (EQE). It is also extremely fast with a response time of just 80 nm, which makes it 104 to 106 times faster than current VUV photoconductive devices. Photovoltaic device might be used [...]

By | January 18th, 2018|

Engineers reinvent the inductor after two centuries

Could the inductor be redesigned in a fundamentally new way? Yes, according to new work by researchers in the US, Japan and China who have made the first high-performance inductors from intercalated graphene that work in the 10-50 GHz range thanks to the mechanism of kinetic inductance - rather than magnetic inductance as in conventional devices. The new inductors, which have both small form-factors and high inductance values, of around 1-2 nanoHenry (a combination that has been difficult to obtain so far), are a third smaller in terms of surface area than conventional devices but with the same performance. They [...]

By | January 16th, 2018|

Semiconductor nanosensor measures membrane potential

Researchers in the US have developed nanosensors that can be directly inserted into a cell’s lipid membrane and be used to measure membrane potential. The devices, which are based on inorganic semiconductor nanoparticles, could potentially record action potentials from multiple neurons as well as electrical signals on the nanoscale – for example, across just one synapse. Semiconductor nanorods will help monitor neural activities Thanks to recent advances in inorganic colloidal synthesis, researchers can now make functional semiconductor nanoparticles whose size, shape and composition can be precisely controlled. Such nanoparticles can be used in applications as diverse as optoelectronics, biological imaging, [...]

By | January 13th, 2018|

2D MXenes make photonic diodes

Researchers at the universities of Clemson, Missouri and Drexel in the US have made the first ever “optical” diode from the 2D material Ti3C2 and fullerene (or carbon-60). The device retains its saturable absorption (or increased light transmission at higher laser powers) even after being exposed to air or low-energy plasma irradiation, which means that its optical properties are stable under these conditions. It might thus be used as optical isolation for high-power lasers and as a saturable absorber material for Q-switching laser components that allow short pulses to be generated. Photonic diode action “In electronic circuits, devices such as [...]

By | January 12th, 2018|

Mobile nanotweezers move sub-micron particles

New mobile nanotweezers that can capture and release sub-micron-sized particles in a fluid more quickly and efficiently than ever before have been constructed by researchers at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. The devices, which are based on ferromagnetic helical nanostructures integrated with silver nanoparticles that produce mechanical force in response to light, can be used to manipulate objects such as bacteria, colloidal beads and fluorescent nanodiamonds. They could find use in applications as diverse as lab-on-a-chip technology, in microfluidics and nanoscale assembly to name a few. The mobile nanotweezers Being able to manipulate nanoscale objects in liquid environments [...]

By | January 12th, 2018|

Liposome-like nanovesicles target tumours

Although precision medicine is coming along in leaps and bounds, targeted drug delivery to tumours remains a huge challenge. A variety of nanomaterials, including ligand-conjugated liposomes, exosomes, inorganic nanoparticles and immunoliposomes, can be used to deliver specific drugs but the problem is that it is difficult to maintain the bioactivity of these therapeutics. What is more, they must be oriented in the correct way to efficiently target a cell population of interest. A team of researchers at Xiamen University in China has now developed a biomimetic theranostic ligand-targeted nanoplatform based on bio-functionalized liposome-like nanovesicles (BLNs) containing protein/peptide ligands that overcomes [...]

By | January 9th, 2018|