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Volume 6 Issue 2, February 2011

Mesoporous structures with well-ordered nanoscale channels could be used in a variety of applications, but our understanding of the growth of such structures through self-assembly is incomplete. Now Jens Michaelis, Christoph Bräuchle and co-workers have observed the self-assembly of a mesoporous silica film in real time using fluorescence polarization imaging and atomic force microscopy (AFM). This AFM image has been overlaid with white lines showing the direction of the pores as determined from the polarization images.

Image credit: Peter Schwaderer

Letter p87

Commentary

  • There is a growing literature on the use of science to inform decisions on the environmental, health and safety implications of nanotechnology, but little has been published by those who make such decisions. Here, as officials of the US Environmental Protection Agency, the European Commission and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, we discuss the types of decision facing government regulators, the new considerations nanotechnology brings to decision-making, the role of science in informing decisions, how regulators cooperate internationally on policy issues, and the challenges that lie ahead.

    • Jeff Morris
    • Jim Willis
    • Mar Gonzalez
    Commentary

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Research Highlights

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News & Views

  • Mechanical vibrations in piezoelectric structures induced by green laser light can efficiently produce electromagnetic radiation at terahertz frequencies.

    • Peter Uhd Jepsen
    News & Views
  • Changing the configuration of block copolymer coatings with the aim of circumventing the body's defence system instead triggers the immune system differently.

    • Robert B. Sim
    • Russell Wallis
    News & Views
  • Metal nanoparticles can be formed inside protein crystals, creating composite materials with potentially bifunctional catalytic properties.

    • Peter G. Vekilov
    News & Views
  • Pre-treating rats with single-walled carbon nanotubes can protect neurons in the brain and enhance the recovery of motor functions after injury.

    • Peter Higgins
    • Jesse Dawson
    • Matthew Walters
    News & Views
  • The formation of an atomic-scale metal filament at the end of an atomic force microscope will pave the way for higher-resolution imaging by AFMs with functionalized tips.

    • Julie V. Macpherson
    News & Views
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Letter

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Article

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Corrigendum

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