Friday, June 17, 2011

This week in nanotechnology - June 17, 2011

A new generation of high speed, silicon-based information technology has been brought a step closer - scientists demonstrate first telecommunications wavelength quantum dot laser grown on a silicon substrate.

New engineering research at the University of Pennsylvania demonstrates that polaritons have increased coupling strength when confined to nanoscale semiconductors. This represents a promising advance in the field of photonics: smaller and faster circuits that use light rather than electricity.

A nanoscale grapevine with hydrogen grapes could someday provide your car's preferred vintage of fuel. Rice University researchers have determined that a lattice of calcium-decorated carbyne has the potential to store hydrogen at levels that easily exceed Department of Energy (DOE) goals for use as a "green" alternative fuel for vehicles.
Hydrogen adsorption on calcium-decorated carbyne chain
Hydrogen adsorption on calcium-decorated carbyne chain.

The world's first three-dimensional plasmon rulers, capable of measuring nanometer-scale spatial changes in macromolecular systems, could provide scientists with unprecedented details on such critical dynamic events in biology as the interaction of DNA with enzymes, the folding of proteins, the motion of peptides or the vibrations of cell membranes.

Team reports scalable fabrication of self-aligned graphene transistors, circuits. The research opens a rational pathway to scalable fabrication of high-speed, self-aligned graphene transistors and functional circuits and it demonstrates for the first time a graphene transistor with a practical (extrinsic) cutoff frequency beyond 50 GHz.