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Volume 14 Issue 8, August 2019

Strong but elastic carbon material

High mechanical strength paired with low density and good ductility is desirable in functional materials, but difficult to achieve. Materials based on carbon nanotubes or graphene may provide a solution to this challenge if the high strength of the low-dimensional building blocks can be transferred to 3D micro- or even macrostructures. Zhang et al. now manufacture micropillars of pyrolytic carbon by means of two-photon lithography and pyrolysis. The pillars exhibit large compressive strength at low density and show rubber-like ductility; they sustain compressive strain of up to 50% without catastrophic failure. The cover art shows the atomic-scale structure of the micropillars responsible for the favourable mechanical properties. Curled graphene fragments are covalently interconnected via carbon-carbon bonds, which at the same time transfers the mechanical strength of the sp 2 carbon nanomaterial to the microscale and maintains low density.

Article by Zhang et al.

IMAGE: Xiaoyan Li, Tsinghua University. COVER DESIGN: Bethany Vukomanovic


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Research Highlights

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News & Views

  • The combination of a nanopore and an atomic force microscope allows stochastic sensing of secreted molecules and the activity of ion channels in arbitrary locations both inside and outside of a cell.

    • Amit Meller
    News & Views
  • Three-dimensional nanowire transistors with curvilinear tips record intracellular signals from neurons.

    • Yin Fang
    • Bozhi Tian
    News & Views
  • Gate-based reflectometry enables single-shot spin readout in double quantum dots. This can help to reduce the number of gates necessary to operate a spin qubit and the per qubit device footprint, while allowing fast measurement — important characteristics for scalable quantum computing architectures.

    • Xuedong Hu
    News & Views
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  • Gate reflectometry on an ancillary dot coupled to an electron reservoir is used to read the spin of a qubit in a CMOS device in a single shot with an average fidelity above 98% within 0.5 ms.

    • Matias Urdampilleta
    • David J. Niegemann
    • Tristan Meunier
  • The spin state of electrons in a double quantum dot in silicon is read in a single shot with 98% average fidelity within 6 μs by means of an on-chip superconducting resonator connected to two of the gates defining the double dot structure.

    • Guoji Zheng
    • Nodar Samkharadze
    • Lieven M. K. Vandersypen
  • Random sequences of unitary gate operations on an exchange-only qubit encoded in three physical electron qubits are performed using only voltage pulses and exhibit an average total error of 0.35%, where half of the error originates from leakage out of the computational subspace caused by interactions with substrate nuclear spins.

    • Reed W. Andrews
    • Cody Jones
    • Matthew G. Borselli
  • An enhancement of 28.5 times beyond the blackbody radiation limit is demonstrated between two plates 110 nm apart in a chip-scale device.

    • John DeSutter
    • Lei Tang
    • Mathieu Francoeur
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Amendments & Corrections

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