Friday, December 31, 2010

This week in nanotechnology - December 31, 2010

Researchers from the Quantum Photonics Group at DTU Fotonik in collaboration with the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen surprise the scientific world with the discovery that light emission from solid-state photon emitters, the so-called quantum dots, is fundamentally different than hitherto believed. The new insight may find important applications as a way to improve efficiency of quantum information devices.

Your genome in minutes: New technology could slash sequencing time. Scientists from Imperial College London are developing technology that could ultimately sequence a person's genome in mere minutes, at a fraction of the cost of current commercial techniques. In the new study, the researchers demonstrated that it is possible to propel a DNA strand at high speed through a tiny 50 nanometre (nm) hole - or nanopore - cut in a silicon chip, using an electrical charge. As the strand emerges from the back of the chip, its coding sequence (bases A, C, T or G) is read by a 'tunnelling electrode junction'.

An interdisciplinary team of researchers at UC Santa Barbara has produced a groundbreaking study of how nanoparticles are able to biomagnify in a simple microbial food chain.

Researchers in Japan have succeeded in controlling the few-particle quantum state of a semiconductor quantum dot, and changing its correlation energies. This research achievement will make it possible to develop semiconductor non-linear devices which enable stable drive with low power consumption.

Just as walkie-talkies transmit and receive radio waves, carbon nanotubes can transmit and receive light at the nanoscale, Cornell researchers have discovered. The researchers used the Rayleigh scattering of light -- the same phenomenon that creates the blue sky -- from carbon nanotubes grown in the lab. They found that while the propagation of light scattering is mostly classical and macroscopic, the color and intensity of the scattered radiation is determined by intrinsic quantum properties.

An international team of researchers has announced a breakthrough that gives a new spin to semiconductor nanoelectronics and the world of information technology. The team has developed an electrically controllable device whose functionality is based on an electron's spin. Their results are the culmination of a 20-year scientific quest involving many international researchers and groups. The team is the first to combine the spin-helix state and anomalous Hall effect to create a realistic spin-field-effect transistor (FET) operable at high temperatures, complete with an AND-gate logic device.

Researchers in Japan Researchers fabricate first single crystal diamond nanoelectromechanical switch. The NEMS switch has the advantages of low-leakage current, low-power consumption and sharp on/off ratio in comparison with the conventional semiconductor devices.

And finally, some Friday fun - researchers etch the periodic table onto a single hair: