Other nanotechnology

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Near-field thermophotovoltaic holds the potential for achieving high-power density and energy conversion efficiency by utilizing evanescent modes of heat transfer, yet the performance still lags behind the far-field counterpart. Here, the authors combine thermally robust planar emitter with InGaAs PV to push the limit of near-field device further.

    • Rohith Mittapally
    • , Byungjun Lee
    •  & Edgar Meyhofer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Neuromorphic nanowire networks are found to exhibit neural-like dynamics, including phase transitions and avalanche criticality. Hochstetter and Kuncic et al. show that the dynamical state at the edge-of-chaos is optimal for learning and favours computationally complex information processing tasks.

    • Joel Hochstetter
    • , Ruomin Zhu
    •  & Zdenka Kuncic
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Direct visualisation of 3D vector distributions of photoinduced fields can shed light on the optical and mechanical behaviour of different materials. Here, the authors demonstrate such visualisation using photoinduced force microscopy by observing the optical gradient force at the nanometer scale.

    • Junsuke Yamanishi
    • , Hidemasa Yamane
    •  & Yasuhiro Sugawara
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Designing efficient neuromorphic systems for complex temporal tasks remains a challenge. Zhong et al. develop a parallel memristor-based reservoir computing system capable of tuning critical parameters, achieving classification accuracy of 99.6% in spoken-digit recognition and time-series prediction error of 0.046 in the Hénon map.

    • Yanan Zhong
    • , Jianshi Tang
    •  & Huaqiang Wu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    High-performance and low-cost indicators are important in food and cosmetics industry but market uptake is low due to several challenges such as toxicity, cost and unclear reading. Here, the authors report on optically-programmed, non-colorimetric indicators based on nanotextured organic non-wovens, encoded by controlling their cross-linking degree.

    • Luigi Romano
    • , Alberto Portone
    •  & Luana Persano
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Though flexible microwave integrated circuits (MICs) are desirable for the construction of functional microwave amplifier circuits, realizing low cost III-V-based MMICs remains a challenge. Here, the authors report a heterogeneous integration strategy for the fabrication of flexible low-cost MICs.

    • Huilong Zhang
    • , Jinghao Li
    •  & Zhenqiang Ma
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The principles of intercellular communication in multicellular organisms can be explored using artificial cells. Here, the authors report on giant vesicles which can recognize diffused chemical signals and amplify the signal by synthetic enzymatic cascades to allow signal propagation over long distances.

    • Bastiaan C. Buddingh’
    • , Janneke Elzinga
    •  & Jan C. M. van Hest
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Physical unclonable functions with inherent randomness are promising candidates for secure labeling systems. Here the authors demonstrate such a function using gap-enhanced Raman tags to create high-capacity and high-security labels for anticounterfeiting.

    • Yuqing Gu
    • , Chang He
    •  & Jian Ye
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The size of an ion affects everything from the structure of water to life itself. Here, a sub-nanometer diameter pore sputtered through a thin silicon nitride membrane is used to systematically test ion permeability by measuring the electrolytic current and current noise and show that the ions move with a grossly distorted hydration shell in a correlated way.

    • Eveline Rigo
    • , Zhuxin Dong
    •  & Gregory Timp
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Determining the source of nanoparticles is critical for nanotechnology risk assessment. Here, the authors develop an approach that, by taking into account the isotopic signatures of both Si and O, may be able to distinguish between natural and engineered SiO2 nanoparticles, and even those synthesized by different manufacturers.

    • Xuezhi Yang
    • , Xian Liu
    •  & Guibin Jiang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Nanowire networks with memristive properties are promising for neuromorphic applications. Here, the authors observe the formation of a preferred conduction pathway which uses the lowest possible energy to get through the network and could be exploited for the design of optimal brain-inspired devices.

    • Hugh G. Manning
    • , Fabio Niosi
    •  & John J. Boland
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Molecular dynamics models for predicting the behavior of metallic nanostructures typically do not take into account polarization effects in metals. Here, the authors introduce a polarizable Lennard–Jones potential that provides quantitative insight into the role of induced charges at metal surfaces and related complex material interfaces.

    • Isidro Lorenzo Geada
    • , Hadi Ramezani-Dakhel
    •  & Hendrik Heinz
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Fully integratable spectrometers have trade-offs between size and resolution. Here, the authors present a nano-opto-electro-mechanical system where the functionalities of transduction, actuation and detection are fully integrated, resulting in an ultra-compact high-resolution spectrometer with a micrometer-scale footprint.

    • Žarko Zobenica
    • , Rob W. van der Heijden
    •  & Andrea Fiore
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Simultaneous electrochemical reduction of CO2 and H+/H2O is an attractive renewable route to produce syngas mixtures. Here, the authors introduce a ternary Co3O4-CDots-C3N4 electrocatalyst that couples hydrogen evolution and CO2 reduction catalysts and achieves cheap, stable and tunable production of syngas.

    • Sijie Guo
    • , Siqi Zhao
    •  & Zhenhui Kang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Self-assembled systems are normally composed of incompressible building blocks, which constrain their space filling efficiency. Yu et al. show programmable, densely packed clusters using thermally expandable soft microparticles, whereby the self-assembling process is realized via a jamming transition.

    • Seunggun Yu
    • , Hyesung Cho
    •  & Chong Min Koo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    While noble gases can be trapped in 3D porous structures, immobilizing them on 2D surfaces represents a formidable challenge. Here, the authors cage individual argon atoms in 2D model zeolite frameworks at room temperature, providing exciting opportunities for the fundamental study of isolated noble gas atoms using surface science methods.

    • Jian-Qiang Zhong
    • , Mengen Wang
    •  & J. Anibal Boscoboinik
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Kloppstechet al. report experimental observations of the heat transfer between a gold tip and an atomically flat gold sample in the 0.2–7 nm regime. The observed flux rates are four orders of magnitude larger than expected from theory, suggesting the possibility of additional heat transfer mechanisms.

    • Konstantin Kloppstech
    • , Nils Könne
    •  & Achim Kittel
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, Cuiet al. report radiative heat transfer in few Ångström to 5 nm gap sizes, between a gold-coated probe and a heated planar gold substrate subjected to various surface cleaning procedures. They found that insufficiently cleaned probes and substrates led to unexpectedly large radiative thermal conductances.

    • Longji Cui
    • , Wonho Jeong
    •  & Pramod Reddy
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Cavity optomechanics enables measurement of torque at levels unattainable by previous techniques, but the main obstacle to improved sensitivity is thermal noise. Here the authors present cryogenic measurement of a cavity-optomechanical torsional resonator with unprecedented torque sensitivity of 2.9 yNm/√Hz.

    • P. H. Kim
    • , B. D. Hauer
    •  & J. P. Davis
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Efficient qubit readout is essential for quantum information technology, which requires sufficient recognition of signal from noise. Here, Krantz et al. propose a simplified technique using a Josephson parametric oscillator, demonstrating single-shot readout performance of a superconducting qubit.

    • Philip Krantz
    • , Andreas Bengtsson
    •  & Jonas Bylander
  • Article
    | Open Access

    DNA may be used to fabricate functional nanostructures with various possible geometries, but first being able to predict these structures is a challenging task. Here, the authors use coarse-grained modelling to predict the shape of artificial DNA nanostructures in solution.

    • Keyao Pan
    • , Do-Nyun Kim
    •  & Mark Bathe
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Quantum objects are subject to decoherence effects due to the surrounding environment. This study demonstrates experimentally a counterintuitive example of anomalous decoherence, in which electron spins residing at nitrogen vacancy centres in diamond display longer coherence times under stronger noises.

    • Pu Huang
    • , Xi Kong
    •  & Jiangfeng Du