A method that can be used to predict the growth of earthquake faults also aids prediction of the tiniest of phenomena--how arrays of "artificial atoms," or quantum dots, assemble and stack themselves on semiconductor materials, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researchers report in the July 15 issue of Physical Review B.
The insight could aid development of more reliable methods for fabricating lasers, sensors and other devices that exploit quantum dots special electronic properties -- the result of confining electrons in the space of a few nanometers. The minuscule structures already are the basis for some lasers. Yet, difficulties in making quantum dots of uniform size and precisely positioning them on a substrate remain formidable. These obstacles stand in the way of an array of faster, more powerful electronic and photonic devices that require only small inputs of energy to spring into action.
NISTs Bo Yang and Vinod Tewary borrowed a mathematical concept that explains how cracks grow in a solid, such as the Earths crust or an airplane wing. The concept, called the elastic energy release rate, accounts for how energy is apportioned as a crack advances. The scientists found that the rate also accounts for how self-assembling quantum dots, which strain the systems lattice-like atomic geometry, will position and align themselves among their neighbors--those next door and those living below. For cube-shaped quantum dots, at least, the equation predicts the most "energetically favorable" location for a quantum dot. The NIST pair says their theory can be used, for example, to predict the optimal depth for embedding quantum dots that will be overlain by another array of dots.
Mark Bello | EurekAlert!
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Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019. Only one year later, an international team led by Italian researchers was able to synthesize these materials and experimentally prove their topological properties. For the renowned journal Nature Materials, this was the occasion to invite Thomas Heine to a News and Views article, which was published this week. Under the title "Making 2D Topological Polymers a reality" Prof. Heine describes how his theory became a reality.
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Scientists took a leukocyte as the blueprint and developed a microrobot that has the size, shape and moving capabilities of a white blood cell. Simulating a blood vessel in a laboratory setting, they succeeded in magnetically navigating the ball-shaped microroller through this dynamic and dense environment. The drug-delivery vehicle withstood the simulated blood flow, pushing the developments in targeted drug delivery a step further: inside the body, there is no better access route to all tissues and organs than the circulatory system. A robot that could actually travel through this finely woven web would revolutionize the minimally-invasive treatment of illnesses.
A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell...
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