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.
“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.
A team of scientists from CFN, Peking University, and Soochow University designed and characterized a new fuel cell catalyst — a platinum-lead core/shell structure, shaped as a nanoplate. The catalyst shape and chemical composition dramatically enhances the oxygen evolution reaction — important for fuel cell performance — while providing stability during operation.
Scientists from UPenn combined the best attributes of ‘bottom-up’ chemical synthesis and lithographic templating for new manufacture of multifunctional, responsive nanomaterials with properties combining those of the building blocks. Here, they created magnetic, plasmonicnanorods by templated assembly of binary mixtures of superparamagnetic and Au nanocrystals. The combined functionality enables magnetic switching of infrared light transmission.
CFN scientists have created a general theoretical model that explains the observed wide diversity of periodic structures formed through nanoparticle self-assembly. The theory applies to a broad portfolio of experimental systems, across nanometer- and micron-length scales. The core interactions dictating the ultimate structure of the assembly are between two types of mutually attractive spherical particles.
In self-assembly, molecules are designed to form in a spontaneous manner desired structures, allowing rapid and scalable fabrication. However, this paradigm generates a limited set of simple shapes. CFN staff scientists have demonstrated how layers of self-assembling materials can be used to create nanostructures never realized before. Each layer guides the assembly of subsequent layers, allowing novel structures to be designed.
A team of CFN users and staff showed that self-assembled, conical-shaped nanotexturesexpel condensing water droplets with an extremely high efficiency, rendering surfaces impervious to fog and outperforming textures with different shapes and sizes.
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.