November 4, 2019

Light-based ‘tractor beam’ assembles materials at the nanoscale

A team led by NanoES faculty member Peter Pauzauskie, a professor of materials science and engineering, has developed a method that could make reproducible manufacturing at the nanoscale possible. The team adapted a light-based technology employed widely in biology — known as optical traps or optical tweezers — to operate in a water-free liquid environment of carbon-rich organic solvents, thereby enabling new potential applications.

August 9, 2019

Scientists can now control thermal profiles at the nanoscale

In a paper published online July 30 by the journal ACS Nano, David Masiello, NanoES faculty member and professor of chemistry, and colleagues from Rice University and Temple University, report a new breakthrough on controlling the thermal profiles of materials at the nanoscale. The team of researchers designed and tested an experimental system that uses a near-infrared laser to actively heat two gold nanorod antennae — metal rods designed and built at the nanoscale — to different temperatures. The nanorods are so close together that they are both electromagnetically and thermally coupled. Yet the team measured temperature differences between the rods as high as 20 degrees Celsius. By simply changing the wavelength of the laser, they could also change which nanorod was cooler and which was warmer, even though the rods were made of the same material.

July 23, 2019

First-ever visualizations of electrical gating effects on electronic structure could lead to longer-lasting devices

UW physicists David Cobden and Xiaodong Xu, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Warwick, developed a technique to measure the energy and momentum of electrons in operating microelectronic devices made of atomically thin — so-called 2D — materials. Their findings, published last week in the journal Nature could lead to new, finely tuned, high-performance electronic devices.