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Silver atom nanoclusters could become efficient biosensors
Researchers have now managed to pinpoint what happens when light is absorbed by extremely small nanoclusters of silver atoms. The results may have useful application in the development of biosensors and in imaging. (2017-06-13)

E. coli bacteria's defense secret revealed
By tagging a cell's proteins with fluorescent beacons, Cornell researchers have found out how E. coli bacteria defend themselves against antibiotics and other poisons. Probably not good news for the bacteria. (2017-06-13)

Scientists develop computer-guided strategy to accelerate materials discovery
Researchers at the University of Liverpool have developed a computer-guided strategy that led to the discovery of two new materials in the laboratory. (2017-06-12)

Chemists perform surgery on nanoparticles
A team of chemists led by Carnegie Mellon's Rongchao Jin has for the first time conducted site-specific surgery on a nanoparticle. The procedure, which allows for the precise tailoring of nanoparticles, stands to advance the field of nanochemistry by allowing researchers to enhance nanoparticles' functional properties, such as catalytic activity and photoluminescence, increasing their usefulness in a wide variety of fields including health care, electronics and manufacturing. (2017-06-12)

Researchers find a surprise just beneath the surface in carbon dioxide experiment
When a carbon dioxide experiment didn't match with what theorists predicted, researchers went back to the drawing board and discovered something new. (2017-06-12)

How to reduce shockwaves in quantum beam experiments
While skimmers have been a necessary component in atomic and molecular-beam experiments for decades, they were also known to impose a fundamental limit on the number of particles one could pack into the beam. However, professor Edvardas Narevicius and his team in the Weizmann Institute of Science's Chemical Physics Department have now revealed a simple way to overcome this limit. (2017-06-07)

Chemical 'dance' of cobalt catalysis could pave way to solar fuels
In a new study, scientists at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and Harvard University have been able to see for the first time an especially important chemical step in the process of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen -- the basic reaction at the heart of creating entirely renewable fuels from solar energy. (2017-06-02)

UQ physicist builds on Einstein and Galileo's work
Sixteenth century scientist Galileo Galilei threw two spheres of different mass from the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa to establish a scientific principle. Now nearly four centuries later, a team of Italian physicists has applied the same principle to quantum objects using a novel scientific method proposed by UQ physicist Dr. Magdalena Zych, reported today in Nature Communications. (2017-06-02)

Breaking Newton's Law
In the quantum world, our intuition for moving objects is strongly challenged and may sometimes even completely fail. Experimental physicists of the University of Innsbruck in collaboration with theorists from Munich, Paris and Cambridge have found a quantum particle which shows an intriguing oscillatory back-and-forth motion in a one-dimensional atomic gas. (2017-06-01)

Sensing the nanoscale with visible light, and the fundamentals of disordered waves
A new experiment appearing in Science shows that features that are even 100 times smaller than the wavelength can still be sensed by light. (2017-06-01)

In atomic propellers, quantum phenomena can mimic everyday physics
In molecules there are certain groups of atoms that are able to rotate. This movement is not continuous but occurs in jumps. It is generally believed that such jumps are classical, i.e. similar to the motion of a roulette ball. Chemists from Warsaw have, however, observed rotations that follow the non-intuitive rules of the quantum world. It turns out that under the appropriate conditions, quantum rotations can mimic normal, classical rotation. (2017-06-01)

Physicists create 'molecular black hole' using ultra-intense X-ray pulses
As a powerful X-ray light hits a molecule, the heaviest atom absorbs a few hundred times more X-rays than all the other atoms and strips away most of its electrons. This creates a large positive charge that steadily pulls electrons from the other atoms in the molecule to fill vacancies like a short-lived black hole. (2017-05-31)

The world's most powerful X-ray laser beam creates 'molecular black hole'
When scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory focused the full intensity of the world's most powerful X-ray laser on a small molecule, they got a surprise: a single laser pulse stripped all but a few electrons out of the molecule's biggest atom from the inside out, leaving a void that started pulling in electrons from the rest of the molecule, like a black hole gobbling a spiraling disk of matter. (2017-05-31)

'Quantum leap' for Liverpool
Physicists from the University of Liverpool have made a huge step forwards towards building a novel experiment to probe the 'dark contents' of the vacuum. What we see, normal matter and light, only accounts for a about 5 percent of the universe. Understanding the remaining 95 percent (the dark content) remains of the greatest challenges for fundamental physics in the 21st Century. (2017-05-30)

Scientists detect light-matter interaction in single layer of atoms
Researchers have pioneered a way to detect the interaction of light and matter on a single layer of atoms. It's the first demonstration of an elastic scattering, near-field experiment performed on a single layer of atoms. (2017-05-30)

New photocatalyst speeds up the conversion of carbon dioxide into chemical resources
A new oxygen-deficient titanium dioxide prepared with Mg reduction method drastically improves the carbon dioxide conversion efficiency up to three times the efficiency of existing photocatalyst. It is expected to be applied for carbon dioxide resources and reduction technology. (2017-05-26)

High pressure key to lighter, stronger metal alloys, Stanford scientists find
Subjecting complex metal mixtures called high-entropy alloys to extremely high pressures could lead to finer control over the arrangement of their atoms, which in turn can result in more desirable properties. (2017-05-25)

New chemical reaction developed at UCLA could eventually yield new fuels and medications
UCLA chemists have developed a new technique to convert carbon-hydrogen bonds into carbon-carbon bonds using catalysts made of silicon and boron, both abundant and inexpensive elements. (2017-05-23)

Atomic structure of irradiated materials is more akin to liquid than glass
Materials exposed to neutron radiation tend to experience significant damage. At the nanoscale, these incident neutrons collide with a material's atoms, which then collide with each other. The resulting disordered atomic network resembles those seen in some glassy materials, which has led many in the field to use them in nuclear research. But the similarities between the materials may not be as useful as previously thought, according to this week's The Journal of Chemical Physics. (2017-05-23)

Two simple building blocks produce complex 3-D material
Northwestern University scientists have built a structurally complex material from two simple building blocks that is the lowest-density metal-organic framework ever made. Directed by design rules developed by the scientists, uranium atoms and organic linkers self-assemble into a beautiful crystal -- a large, airy 3-D net of very roomy and useful pores. The pores are so roomy, in fact, that the scientists have nestled a large enzyme inside a pore -- no small feat. (2017-05-22)

Ultrafast nanophotonics: Turmoil in sluggish electrons' existence
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behavior of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy. (2017-05-22)

Magnetic order in a two-dimensional molecular chessboard
Achieving magnetic order in low-dimensional systems consisting of only one or two dimensions has been a research goal for some time. In a new study published in the journal Nature Communications, Uppsala researchers show that magnetic order can be created in a two-dimensional chessboard lattice consisting of organometallic molecules that are only one atomic layer thick. (2017-05-22)

Wafer-thin magnetic materials developed for future quantum technologies
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications. (2017-05-22)

Insight into enzyme's 3-D structure could cut biofuel costs
Using neutron crystallography, a Los Alamos research team has mapped the three-dimensional structure of a protein that breaks down polysaccharides, such as the fibrous cellulose of grasses and woody plants, a finding that could help bring down the cost of creating biofuels. (2017-05-18)

Hydrogen bonds directly detected for the first time
For the first time, scientists have succeeded in studying the strength of hydrogen bonds in a single molecule using an atomic force microscope. Researchers from the University of Basel's Swiss Nanoscience Institute network have reported the results in the journal Science Advances. (2017-05-12)

NIST physicists find a way to control charged molecules -- with quantum logic
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) physicists have solved the seemingly intractable puzzle of how to control the quantum properties of individual charged molecules, or molecular ions. The solution is to use the same kind of 'quantum logic' that drives an experimental NIST atomic clock. (2017-05-10)

Elusive atomic motion captured by electron microscopy
The movement of atoms through a material can cause problems under certain circumstances. Atomic-resolution electron microscopy has enabled researchers at Linköping University in Sweden to observe for the first time a phenomenon that has eluded materials scientists for many decades. The study is published in Scientific Reports. (2017-05-09)

Stanford team brings quantum computing closer to reality with new materials
Quantum computing could outsmart current computing for complex problem solving, but only if scientists figure out how to make it practical. A Stanford team is investigating new materials that could become the basis for such an advance. (2017-05-08)

Chemically tailored graphene
Graphene is considered as one of the most promising new materials. However, the systematic insertion of chemically bound atoms and molecules to control its properties is still a major challenge. Now, for the first time, scientists of the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, the University of Vienna, the Freie Universität Berlin and the University Yachay Tech in Ecuador succeeded in precisely verifying the spectral fingerprint of such compounds in both theory and experiment. (2017-05-08)

High temperature step-by-step process makes graphene from ethene
An international team of scientists has developed a new way to produce single-layer graphene from a simple precursor: ethene -- also known as ethylene -- the smallest alkene molecule, which contains just two atoms of carbon. (2017-05-04)

Ripples in the cosmic web
A team of astronomers has made the first measurements of small-scale ripples in primeval hydrogen gas using rare double quasars. (2017-04-27)

NASA's Cassini, Voyager missions suggest new picture of sun's interaction with galaxy
New data from three NASA missions show that the heliosphere -- the bubble of the sun's magnetic influence that surrounds the inner solar system -- may be much more compact and rounded than previously thought. (2017-04-24)

Finding order and structure in the atomic chaos where materials meet
Materials science researchers have developed a model that can account for irregularities in how atoms arrange themselves at the so-called 'grain boundaries' -- the interface where two materials meet. By describing the packing of atoms at these interfaces, the tool can be used to help researchers determine how grain boundaries affect the properties of metal alloys and other materials. (2017-04-20)

New method can model chemistry in extreme magnetic fields of white dwarfs
Approximately 10-20 percent of white dwarfs exhibit strong magnetic fields, which can reach up to 100,000 tesla. However, on Earth, the strongest magnetic fields that can be generated using nondestructive magnets are about 100 tesla. Therefore, studying the chemistry in such extreme conditions is only possible using theory and until now has not provided much insight to the spectra accompanying white dwarfs. Researchers describe their work modeling these systems in The Journal of Chemical Physics. (2017-04-18)

Creating time crystals
A team of Harvard researchers created a previously-only-theoretical time crystal using a small piece of diamond embedded with millions of atomic-scale impurities known as nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers. They then used microwave pulses to 'kick' the system out of equilibrium, causing the NV center's spins to flip at precisely-timed intervals. (2017-04-17)

Washington State University physicists create 'negative mass'
Washington State University physicists have created a fluid with negative mass, which is exactly what it sounds like. Push it, and unlike every physical object in the world we know, it doesn't accelerate in the direction it was pushed. It accelerates backwards. (2017-04-17)

Advantage: Water
When water comes in for a landing on the common catalyst titanium oxide, it splits into hydroxyls just under half the time. Water's oxygen and hydrogen atoms shift back and forth between existing as water or hydroxyls, and water has the slightest advantage, like the score in a highly competitive tennis game. (2017-04-13)

New material could save time and money in medical imaging and environmental remediation
Chemists at the University of Texas at Austin have developed a material that holds the key to cheap, fast and portable new sensors for a wide range of chemicals that right now cost government and industries large sums to detect. (2017-04-13)

Super sensitive devices work on recycling atoms
Next-generation sensors to be used in fields as diverse as mineral exploration and climate change will be turbo boosted thanks to University of Queensland and University of Sussex research. Theoretical physicist Dr. Stuart Szigeti, of UQ's School of Mathematics and Physics, said future precision sensing technology would exploit unusual effects of quantum mechanics. (2017-04-11)

Microprocessors based on a layer of just 3 atoms
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project. (2017-04-11)

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