Friday, January 8, 2010

This week in nanotechnology, Jan 8, 2010

With the passage of a molecule through the labyrinth of a chemical system being so critical to catalysis and other important chemical processes, computer simulations are frequently used to model potential molecule/labyrinth interactions. In the past, such simulations have been expensive and time-consuming to carry out, but now researchers have developed a new algorithm that should make future simulations easier and faster to compute, and yield much more accurate results.

To circumvent the limitations of conventional computers in tackling the problems of understanding and modeling the behavior of complex quantum systems, physicists have proposed using well-understood quantum systems called ‘quantum simulators’ (or ‘quantum emulators’) to emulate similar, but otherwise poorly understood, quantum systems.

Schematic diagrams of three types of quantum simulators

Schematic diagrams of three types of quantum simulators: atoms (red) held in place by an optical field (green; top left); ions (yellow) aligned using an electromagnetic field (top right); and superconducting circuits (bottom) (Image: RIKEN)

Scientists at the University of Glasgow have imaged the self-assembly of nanoparticles, unveiling the blueprint for building designer molecular machines atom-by-atom.

A new class of biodegradable nanosized particles that can easily slip through the body’s sticky and viscous mucus secretions to deliver a sustained-release medication cargo.

Researchers have for the first time observed a nanoscale symmetry hidden in solid state matter. They have measured the signatures of a symmetry showing the same attributes as the golden ratio famous from art and architecture.