Nanotubes are the poster children of the nanotechnology revolution. These tiny carbon tubes – less than 1/50,000 the diameter of a human hair – possess novel properties that have researchers excitedly exploring dozens of potential applications ranging from transistors to space elevators.
Nanotubes also produce light with a number of interesting properties, which have led researchers to propose various optical applications. One of the most promising is to use the tiny tubes as fluorescent markers to study biological systems, a role pioneered by fluorescent proteins. But there has been one primary problem: Nanotubes have proven to be very inefficient phosphors, absorbing a thousand photons for every photon that they emit (a ratio called quantum efficiency).
Now, however, the latest research into nanotube luminescence has found that there is substantial room for increasing the efficiency of these infinitesimal light sources: The study, which is the first to measure the luminescence of single nanotubes, was published in the Nov. 4 issue of Physical Review Letters and reports that there is a surprising amount of variation between the quantum efficiencies of the 15 individual nanotubes that were examined.
David F. Salisbury | Vanderbilt University
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Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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