In case you missed it (ICYMI), here are some of the stories that made headlines in the world of cleanrooms and nanotechnology in the past week.
A new optical nanosensor developed by a research team from the University of Lausannee allows for more accurate measurement and spatiotemporal mapping of the brain. The discovery also paves the way for design of future multimodal sensors and a broader range of applications, in an article published by SPIE. Using a fluorescence-imaging-based ionized-potassium-sensitive nanosensor design, the team fought against challenges such as sensitivity to small movements or drift and diffusion of dyes within the studied region, improving accuracy, and enabling access to previously inaccessible areas of the brain.
Researchers at the National University of Science and Technology have used a metamaterial composed of layers of semiconductor and dielectric as a model, and implemented layer thicknesses much smaller than the wavelength of incident radiation. Their research shows that the presence of active (in other words, amplifying) dielectric mediums in photonic crystals can make up for the losses connected with electron collisions in semiconductor material, and also increases the nonlinear radiation efficiency. A powerful response was achieved with fivefold increased frequency under a minimum amount of scattering.
Finally, a team from NJIT and Yeshiva University has proposed that a little-understood biological property that appears to allow cell components to store energy on their outer edges is the possible key to developing a new class of materials and devices to collect, store, and manage energy for a variety of applications. The scientists say that this research could be used to explain cell behavior that is not yet fully understood, as they study the role of topological phonon edges in the functioning of microtubules — the skeletal material in eukaryotic cells. Phonon edges are quanta of sound or vibrational energy confined to the edge or surface of a material.