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Volume 8 Issue 11, November 2013

The hunt for Majorana fermions continues as condensed-matter physicists try to prove that Majorana modes, in superconductor- semiconductor hybrid devices, obey non-Abelian exchange statistics. To test this, an exchange operation in which two Majorana fermions are moved around one another is needed, and this requires a network of nanowires. Single crystalline InSb nanocrosses — shown in a scanning electron microscope image on the cover — synthesized by Sebastien Plissard, Ilse van Weperen and colleagues are among the most promising material systems for the exchange of Majorana fermions.

Article p859

IMAGE: I. VAN WEPEREN AND S. R. PLISSARD

COVER DESIGN: ALEX WING

Editorial

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Commentary

  • Mentoring undergraduates in a research laboratory requires a different set of skills and approaches than for other lab members. However, if a mentor — be it a faculty member, postdoc or graduate student — can adopt these methods, it can lead to a significantly improved lab experience for everyone involved.

    • Philip S. Lukeman
    Commentary
  • Research and teaching in nanoscience can, and should, be thought as one joint endeavour. nanoHUB, a cyberinfrastructure that aims to use interactive cloud-based software to meet the needs of both code developers and end-users, is redefining research and education in nanoscience and engineering.

    • Krishna Madhavan
    • Michael Zentner
    • Gerhard Klimeck
    Commentary
  • In recent years, South Africa has, like other countries, increased investment in nanotechnology research, which in turn has had an effect on the curricula of its higher-education institutions. However, the focus of these changes, and the approach taken to achieve them, are unique to the circumstances of the country.

    • Tebello Nyokong
    • Janice Limson
    Commentary
  • In recent years, education in nanotechnology has evolved to reflect the new skill set required to perform multidisciplinary research. As the field further develops, it will need to evolve again.

    • Roberto Cingolani
    Commentary
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Feature

  • Eight students from across the world discuss their own nanoscience education.

    Feature
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Research Highlights

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News & Views

  • Hot electrons can be efficiently injected into a semiconductor using a metallic tip that focuses surface plasmons, and can be used to carry out nanoscale chemical mapping.

    • P. James Schuck
    News & Views
  • Single magnetic skyrmions — topological whirls in the magnetization of certain ferromagnets — can be created and manipulated in nanostructures using electrical currents.

    • Rembert Duine
    News & Views
  • The local electronic properties of graphene grain boundaries can be obtained by deciphering the interference patterns produced by surface plasmons.

    • Rémi Carminati
    News & Views
  • The strength of the magnetic exchange interaction at the buried interface between a magnetic film and a substrate can be measured using spin-polarized electrons scattered from the top surface of the film.

    • Andrei Slavin
    News & Views
  • Increasing the molecular weight of the core of a polymeric nanoparticle significantly improves its use in gene delivery.

    • Ameya R. Kirtane
    • Jayanth Panyam
    News & Views
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Correction

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Review Article

  • This Review discusses the state-of-the-art in optical trapping at the nanoscale, with an emphasis on some of the most promising advances such as controlled manipulation and assembly of individual and multiple nanostructures, force measurement with femtonewton resolution, and biosensors.

    • Onofrio M. Maragò
    • Philip H. Jones
    • Andrea C. Ferrari
    Review Article
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Letter

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Article

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Corrigendum

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Erratum

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Focus

  • Research in nanotechnology has grown rapidly in recent years and, like any successful field, would be expected to influence the curricula being taught at universities. However, if nanotechnology is a field defined by a length scale and not traditional subject areas, has it had a more profound effect on education? And what sort of education do future nanotechnologists need in order to thrive? Such questions and others are explored in this focus issue on nanoscience education.

    Focus
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