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The device operation of quantum-well infrared photodetectors and quantum-cascade lasers rely on intersubband transitions — that is, transitions that occur between quantized states in quantum wells that are typically fabricated from different III–V semiconductor alloys. The combination of materials in these structures is limited by strict lattice-matching conditions, which may deteriorate the device performance. Owing to their design versatility, van der Waals quantum wells naturally formed in 2D materials heterostructures are not impaired by these restrictions. However, until now, intersubband transitions in van der Waals quantum wells have not been observed experimentally. Now, Schmidt et al. employ near-field local probing to spectrally resolve intersubband transitions in layered transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) providing the opportunity to study these phenomena in van der Waals quantum wells for future applications. The cover is the artist’s depiction of an optically excited van der Waals layered structure formed by terraced TMDs.
Engineered nanomaterials are often highly reactive and readily transform to new species. New modelling capabilities incorporate these transformations into estimates of environmental exposure concentrations and associated risks more accurately.
This Review discusses recent experimental and theoretical efforts in electron dynamics in TMDC heterostructures and the relevance of these effects for potential applications in optoelectronic and valleytronic/spintronic devices.
Self-reconstruction of conducting nanostructures assisted by a dynamically crosslinked polymer network enables the fabrication of autonomous self-healable and stretchable multi-component electronic skin.
An ultrasensitive miRNA sensor based on gold-coated magnetic nanoparticles modified with redox-labelled probe DNA is capable of detecting miRNA at a concentration of 10 aM to 1 nM in unprocessed blood, and following tumour-induced variation in miRNA levels.
Gold nanoparticles typically considered inert in oxic waters accumulate in freshwater wetland subaquatic plants and are completely biotransformed to oxidized Au species by the associated cyanogenic biofilm.
Spikes on the surface of TiO2 microparticles, mimicking the nanotopological structures found on pathogens, boost the immune response in animal models and can be used to enhance the immunogenic effect of vaccines and adjuvants.