The NSRCs hold joint workshops to share research and user projects that are ongoing at the five centers. These exchanges of information have provided the staff at the NSRCs with the opportunity to learn about topics/thrusts in nanoscience at the other nanocenters and to develop an understanding of the different areas of expertise among the staff members. They have also facilitated discussions towards possible future areas of collaboration between the centers and provided basic information so that potential NSRC users can be directed toward the optimal center and staff to meet their research needs.
Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 15-May-2017 – 17-May-2017
CINT - 2017 User Meeting
Santa Fe, New Mexico 24-Sep-2017 – 27-Sep-2017
Oak Ridge, TN 31-Jul-2017 – 4-Aug-2017
CNM - 2016 User Meeting
Argonne, IL 9-May-2016 – 12-May-2016
The Foundry - 2014 User Meeting
Berkeley, CA 25-Aug-2014 – 26-Aug-2014
A collaborative team of Molecular Foundry Users and staff used computation to design and predict a new metal–organic framework (MOF) able to separate dinitrogen from methane and other methane-rich gases.
A simple method was used to fabricate copper surfaces that efficiently convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into useful industrial chemicals. Oxidizing the surface of copper with a plasma creates a nanostructured surface that becomes highly selective to the formation of ethylene (C2H4). The ethylene production was found to depend on both the surface roughness and the copper species that exist on the surface due to the plasma pre-treatment. This insight could lead to the production of cost-effective routes toward the synthesis of C2H4 from CO2.
Preserving the structure and bioactivity of immobilized proteins is of current interest for biosensors and drug delivery platform development. To explore how proteins behave under confinement, nanoporous block copolymer films, with uniform pore size, shape (stripes and cylinders), and chemistry, were filled with proteins. After filling, the stiffness and activity of the proteins were examined as functions of pore size and shape. Proteins, confined within polystyrene (PS) nanopores, were found to be stiffer than proteins that are contained inside larger, submicron, poly(methyl methacrylate) pores. These results suggest that protein stiffness correlates to the extent of confinement, which subsequently influences a protein’s activity and elasticity. This information about protein-functionalized polymers can be used to improve the scientific community’s comprehension of the interactions among and the function of proteins and engineered surfaces.
“Low-tech” solution-based route to high-performance carbon nanotube thin films.
This is a rapid, facile, route to macroscale carbon nanotube thin films exhibiting a high degree of alignment. Harnessing a spontaneous self-alignment mechanism creates ideal polarizers in the terahertz frequency range.
This “low-tech” solution offers a rapid, facile route to macroscale carbon nanotube thin films exhibiting a high degree of alignment. This harnesses a spontaneous self-alignment mechanism, enabling thin film electronics, optoelectronics and ideal polarizers from THz to visible light frequencies.
The one-dimensional character of electrons, phonons and excitons in individual single-walled carbon nanotubes leads to extremely anisotropic electronic, thermal and optical properties. Despite significant efforts to develop ways to produce large-scale architectures of aligned nanotubes, macroscopic manifestations of such properties remain limited. Here, we show that large (>cm2) monodomain films of aligned single-walled carbon nanotubes can be prepared using slow vacuum filtration. The produced films are globally aligned within ±1.5¡ (a nematic order parameter of ∼1) and are highly packed, containing ~1X106 nanotubes in a cross-sectional area of 1 μm2. The method works for nanotubes synthesized by various methods, and film thickness is controllable from a few nanometres to ∼100 nm. This approach creates ideal polarizers in the terahertz frequency range. Combining this method with recently developed sorting techniques allows for highly aligned and chirality-enriched nanotube thin-film devices, with applications as efficient polarizers and thin film transistors for optoelectronic applications.
Nanoparticles of lithium metal formed on the surface of a solid state lithium ion electrolyte by an atomic force microscope. The particle size and height can be controlled by using carefully chosen voltage amplitude and sweep rates. The particles can be as small as 50 nanometers in diameter and a few nanometers high, and can potentially be used in lithium nanobatteries. A. Kumar, T.M. Arruda, A. Tselev, I.N. Ivanov, J.S. Lawton, T.A. Zawodzinski, O. Butyaev, X. Zayats, S. Jesse, and S.V. Kalinin, “Nanometer-scale mapping of irreversible electrochemical nucleation processes on solid Li-ion electrolytes.” Scientific Reports 3, 1621 (2013)
A team of scientists at the Center for Nanoscale Materials, Northwestern University and Stony Brook University has for the first time created a two-dimensional sheet of boron known as borophene. Borophene is an unusual material because it shows many metallic properties at the nanoscale even though three-dimensional, or bulk, boron is nonmetallic and semiconducting. Because borophene is both metallic and atomically thin, it holds promise for possible applications ranging from electronics to photovoltaics. While other two-dimensional materials appear smooth at the nanoscale, borophene looks like corrugated cardboard, buckling up and down depending on how the boron atoms bind to one another. The “ridges” of this cardboard-like structure result in anisotropy, where a material’s mechanical or electronic properties become directionally dependent. Experimental measurements consisted of scanning tunneling microscopy with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy to both obtain a view of the surface of the material and verify its atomic-scale thickness and chemical properties.