Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Volume 6 Issue 11, November 2011

Materials that change their properties in response to external stimuli could have applications in electronics, sensing and catalysis. In the past, such switchable nanomaterials have relied on changes of shape to modify their properties, but now Bartosz Grzybowski and co-workers have shown that the electrical conductance of a film made of gold nanoparticles coated with charged ligands can be controlled by applying an electric field. This applied field sets up long-range gradients of both electrons (in the nanoparticle cores) and negative counterions (around the nanoparticles). Moreover, these gradients and the internal electric fields they create can be reconfigured to create different electronic elements. In this abstract representation, the nanoparticles are cubes, the currents between them are yellow and the conducting paths that have been switched off are copper coloured.

Article p740; News & Views p693

IMAGE: DAVID A. WALKER AND MARK SENIW

COVER DESIGN: ALEX WING

Commentary

  • Nanotechnology has the potential to lead to healthier, safer and better tasting foods, and improved food packaging, but the hesitation of the food industry and public fears in some countries about tampering with nature may be holding back the introduction of nanofoods.

    • Timothy V. Duncan
    Commentary

    Advertisement

Top of page ⤴

Research Highlights

Top of page ⤴

News & Views

  • A nanomechanical beam coupled to an optical cavity can be operated as a non-volatile memory element.

    • Garrett D. Cole
    • Markus Aspelmeyer
    News & Views
  • A surface acoustic wave can be used to remove a single electron from a quantum dot, drag it along a nanowire, and deposit it in a second quantum dot.

    • Markus Kindermann
    News & Views
  • Incorporating gold nanowires into porous alginate scaffolds can improve the conductivity of engineered heart patches made from these materials.

    • Marisa E. Jaconi
    News & Views
  • Electric currents can be steered by coupling the flow of electrons and ions in films of gold nanoparticles coated with ionic ligands.

    • Xi Yu
    • Vincent M. Rotello
    News & Views
Top of page ⤴

Review Article

  • This article reviews the use of electron microscopy in liquids and its application in biology and materials science.

    • Niels de Jonge
    • Frances M. Ross
    Review Article
Top of page ⤴

Letter

Top of page ⤴

Article

Top of page ⤴
Find nanotechnology articles, nanomaterial data and patents all in one place. Visit Nano by Nature Research

Search

Quick links