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Archive for the ‘materials’ category

Oct 1, 2022

Breakthrough: Physicists Take Particle Self-Assembly to New Level

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

Breakthrough opens up new possibilities for the creation of next-generation materials.

A new way to self-assemble particles has been created by a team of physicists. This advance offers new promise for building complex and innovative materials at the microscopic level.

Self-assembly, introduced in the early 2000s, gives scientists a means to “pre-program” particles, which allows for the construction of materials without further human intervention. This is basically the microscopic equivalent of Ikea furniture that can assemble itself.

Continue reading “Breakthrough: Physicists Take Particle Self-Assembly to New Level” »

Sep 30, 2022

Drawing data at the nanometer scale

Posted by in categories: computing, materials

A method to draw data in an area smaller than 10 nanometers has been proposed in a recent study published in Physical Review Letters

A joint research team led by Professor Daesu Lee (Department of Physics) of POSTECH, Professor Se Young Park (Department of Physics) at Soongsil University, and Dr. Ji Hye Lee (Department of Physics and Astronomy) of Seoul National University has proposed a method for densely storing data by “poking” with a sharp probe. This method utilizes a material in the metastable state, whose properties change easily even with slight stimulation.

A thin film of metastable ferroelectric calcium titanate (CaTiO3) enables the polarization switching of a material even with a slight pressure of a probe: A very weak force of 100 nanonewtons (nN) is more than enough. The joint research team succeeded in making the width of the polarization path smaller than 10 nm by using this force and found the way to dramatically increase the capacity of data . This is because the smaller the size of the path, the more data the single material can store.

Sep 29, 2022

Surprising Colors with Scotch Tape

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, materials

A physicist’s do-it-yourself art project makes vibrant images with a pair of polarizers and carefully placed layers of transparent tape.

When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down universities and offices across the world in spring 2020, finding new hobbies to stave off fear (and boredom) became paramount. While some took up cross-stitch or a new stretching routine, Aaron Slepkov, a photonics researcher at the University of Trent in Peterborough, Canada, turned to a physics-inspired art form called polage to occupy his time.

Polage, or polarization-filtered coloration, as Slepkov calls it, is a kind of collage that uses polarizers and thin films to create brightly colored artworks that transform depending on how you look at them. This metamorphosis is made possible by birefringence, an optical property of certain materials that changes the polarization state of transmitted light. Examples of birefringent materials include ice, calcite crystals, cellophane film, and transparent tape.

Sep 28, 2022

Hubble detects protective shield defending a pair of dwarf galaxies

Posted by in categories: materials, space

For billions of years, the Milky Way’s largest satellite galaxies—the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds—have followed a perilous journey. Orbiting one another as they are pulled in toward our home galaxy, they have begun to unravel, leaving behind trails of gaseous debris. And yet—to the puzzlement of astronomers—these dwarf galaxies remain intact, with ongoing vigorous star formation.

“A lot of people were struggling to explain how these streams of material could be there,” said Dhanesh Krishnarao, assistant professor at Colorado College. “If this gas was removed from these galaxies, how are they still forming stars?”

With the help of data from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and a retired satellite called the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE), a team of astronomers led by Krishnarao has finally found the answer: the Magellanic system is surrounded by a corona, a protective shield of hot supercharged gas. This cocoons the two galaxies, preventing their gas supplies from being siphoned off by the Milky Way, and therefore allowing them to continue forming new stars.

Sep 28, 2022

Physicists take self-assembly to new level

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

A team of physicists has created a new way to self-assemble particles—an advance that offers new promise for building complex and innovative materials at the microscopic level.

Self-assembly, introduced in the early 2000s, gives scientists a means to “pre-program” particles, allowing for the building of materials without further human intervention—the microscopic equivalent of Ikea furniture that can assemble itself.

The breakthrough, reported in the journal Nature, centers on emulsions—droplets of oil immersed in water—and their use in the self-assembly of foldamers, which are unique shapes that can be theoretically predicted from the sequence of droplet interactions.

Sep 27, 2022

Graphene is a Nobel Prize-winning “wonder material.” Graphyne might replace it

Posted by in category: materials

A two-dimensional material made entirely of carbon called graphene won the Nobel Prize in 2010. might be even better.

Sep 27, 2022

Swimming nanorobots treat deadly pneumonia in mice

Posted by in categories: materials, robotics/AI

Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have developed microscopic robots, called microrobots, that can swim around in the lungs, deliver medication and be used to clear up life-threatening cases of bacterial pneumonia.

In mice, the microrobots safely eliminated pneumonia-causing bacteria in the lungs and resulted in 100% survival. By contrast, untreated mice all died within three days after infection.

The results are published Sept. 22 in Nature Materials.

Sep 27, 2022

Graphene nanopattern as a universal epitaxy platform for single-crystal membrane production and defect reduction

Posted by in categories: materials, nanotechnology

Epitaxy on nanopatterned graphene enables the realization of a broad spectrum of freestanding single-crystalline membranes with substantially reduced defects.

Sep 26, 2022

Japan’s Hayabusa 2 asteroid sample sheds new light on the early solar system

Posted by in categories: materials, space

Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The Hayabusa 2 spacecraft dropped a capsule containing the samples — materials dating back to the beginnings of our solar system — into Earth’s atmosphere before continuing its journey to another asteroid.

Sep 25, 2022

Terahertz light from superconducting stripes

Posted by in categories: materials, quantum physics

Why do some materials carry electrical currents without any resistance only when cooled to near absolute zero while others do so at comparatively high temperatures? This key question continues to vex scientists studying the phenomenon of superconductivity. Now a team of researchers from Andrea Cavalleri’s group at the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has provided evidence that electron “stripes” in certain copper-based compounds may lead to a break in the material’s crystal symmetry, which persists even in their superconducting state. Their work has been published in PNAS.

Focusing on a range of cuprates, the team investigated the coexistence and competition of their with other quantum phases. Such interactions are believed to be crucial to the development of high-temperature superconductivity—a process which remains one of the most important unsolved problems in condensed matter physics today.

The researchers exposed several cuprate crystals, grown and characterized at Brookhaven National Labs, to ultrashort laser light pulses. They observed how the materials began to emit a particular type of terahertz (THz) light—a technique known as THz emission spectroscopy.

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