Table of contents



Location, location, location p309


Although the number of nanotechnology papers published by Chinese researchers is increasing rapidly, the US and Europe continue to lead in terms of quality.

Subject term: Education and research



Do single-walled carbon nanotubes occur naturally? p310

Kieran J. MacKenzie, Chee Howe See, Oscar M. Dunens & Andrew T. Harris


Subject terms: Carbon nanotubes and fullerenes | Industry and IPR

Silicon nanowires feel the pinch pp311 - 312

Alistair C. H. Rowe


Subject term: Electronic properties and devices



Narratives of nature and nanotechnology pp313 - 315

Fern Wickson


Scientists often invoke comparisons with nature when discussing developments in nanotechnology, but the relationship between the two is more complex than it first appears, and can be broken down into nine different narratives.

Subject terms: Education and research | Ethical, legal and other societal issues


Research Highlights

Top down bottom up: Bridging two cultures p317


Self-assembled nanofibres have been used to promote the growth of neuronal cells in mice after spinal cord injuries.

Subject term: Nanomedicine


News and Views

NEMS: All you need is feedback pp319 - 320

Kamil L. Ekinci


In the past, nanoelectromechanical resonators have been passive devices that required external oscillators to keep them working, so the development of a self-sustaining resonator powered only by a d.c. voltage is a major advance.

Subject terms: Nanosensors and other devices | NEMS

See also: Letter by Feng et al.

Environmental nanotechnology: Nanomaterials clean up pp320 - 321

Joerg Lahann


Membranes made of manganese oxide nanowires can be used to selectively absorb oil from water through a combination of superhydrophobicity and capillary action.

Subject terms: Nanomaterials | Structural properties

See also: Letter by Yuan et al.

Optical tweezers: Gold standard p321

Tim Reid


Subject term: Photonic structures and devices

Nanoecotoxicology: Environmental risks of nanomaterials pp322 - 323

Martin Scheringer


Rising production and use of engineered nanomaterials increases the likelihood of environmental exposure. A preliminary modelling study shows that quantitative risk assessment is possible but a large knowledge gap still exists.

Subject term: Environmental, health and safety issues

Surface patterning: SAMs are better by design pp324 - 325

Neil R. Champness


The patterning of self-assembled monolayers can be controlled on subnanometre length scales by careful design of the molecular components.

Subject terms: Molecular self-assembly | Surface patterning and imaging



Functionalized graphene sheets for polymer nanocomposites pp327 - 331

T. Ramanathan, A. A. Abdala, S. Stankovich, D. A. Dikin, M. Herrera-Alonso, R. D. Piner, D. H. Adamson, H. C. Schniepp, X. Chen, R. S. Ruoff, S. T. Nguyen, I. A. Aksay, R. K. Prud'Homme & L. C. Brinson


Nanocomposites reinforced with functionalized graphene sheets that form strong interactions with the surrounding polymer matrix are shown to have significantly enhanced thermal and mechanical properties.

Subject terms: Nanomaterials | Structural properties

Superwetting nanowire membranes for selective absorption pp332 - 336

Jikang Yuan, Xiaogang Liu, Ozge Akbulut, Junqing Hu, Steven L. Suib, Jing Kong & Francesco Stellacci


Subject terms: Nanomaterials | Structural properties

See also: News and Views by Lahann

Atomically resolved mechanical response of individual metallofullerene molecules confined inside carbon nanotubes pp337 - 341

Makoto Ashino, Dirk Obergfell, Miro Haluška, Shihe Yang, Andrei N. Khlobystov, Siegmar Roth & Roland Wiesendanger


Researchers have measured the mechanical response of individual metallofullerene molecules confined inside a carbon nanotube to the tip of an atomic force microscope with atomic resolution. Highly elastic — that is, almost frictionless — behaviour was observed under certain conditions

Subject terms: Carbon nanotubes and fullerenes | Structural properties

See also: News and Views by Rodgers

A self-sustaining ultrahigh-frequency nanoelectromechanical oscillator pp342 - 346

X. L. Feng, C. J. White, A. Hajimiri & M. L. Roukes


To date most sensors based on nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) have been passive devices that require external periodic or pulsed stimuli to excite them into resonance. Now researchers have demonstrated an active NEMS device excited by a d.c. source that exhibits excellent frequency stability, linewidth narrowing and low-noise performance.

Subject terms: Nanosensors and other devices | NEMS

See also: News and Views by Ekinci

Impact of carbon nanotubes on the ingestion and digestion of bacteria by ciliated protozoa pp347 - 351

Parnian Ghafari, Christine H. St-Denis, Mary E. Power, Xu Jin, Veronica Tsou, Himadri S. Mandal, Niels C. Bols & Xiaowu (Shirley) Tang


Nanoparticles released into the environment could impact the performance of the protozoa that regulate the population of bacteria and other microbes in water. New experiments show that carbon nanotubes are internalized by one such protozoa, Tetrahymena thermophila, reducing its ability to ingest and digest harmful bacteria species.

Subject terms: Carbon nanotubes and fullerenes | Structural properties

Trophic transfer of nanoparticles in a simplified invertebrate food web pp352 - 355

R. David Holbrook, Karen E. Murphy, Jayne B. Morrow & Ken D. Cole


New laboratory studies using a simplified food web show that quantum dots can be ingested by certain ciliates and transferred to higher trophic organisms such as the predatory rotifers by dietary uptake.

Subject terms: Nanoparticles | Structural properties | Synthesis and processing



Computer simulation study of fullerene translocation through lipid membranes pp363 - 368

Jirasak Wong-Ekkabut, Svetlana Baoukina, Wannapong Triampo, I-Ming Tang, D. Peter Tieleman & Luca Monticelli


Computer simulations suggest that high concentrations of fullerenes can change the mechanical properties of the lipid membrane in cells. However, these changes are not large enough to damage the membrane, which suggests that other mechanisms are responsible for membrane disruption and fullerene toxicity.

Subject terms: Carbon nanotubes and fullerenes | Computational nanotechnology | Structural properties | Nanomedicine



Bit storage and bit flip operations in an electromechanical oscillator p369

I. Mahboob & H. Yamaguchi




Improved nanofabrication through guided transient liquefaction p369

Stephen Y. Chou & Qiangfei Xia