Scientists have worked for decades to get colloidal spheres to arrange themselves in sparser lattices, which would unleash potentially valuable optical properties. The structures, called photonic crystals, could increase the efficiency of lasers, make optical components even smaller, and increase engineers’ ability to control the flow of light. Now, New York University researchers report a [...]

Nanoparticles that help convert carbon dioxide into methane using only ultraviolet light as an energy source have been developed by researchers at Duke University. The team now hopes to develop a version that would run on natural sunlight, a potential treasure for alternative energy. Chemists have long sought an efficient, light-driven catalyst to power this [...]

A new technique called “photo-induced force microscopy,” which probes the optical properties of nanomaterials by measuring the physical force imparted by light, is being tested by scientists at Rice University. Isabell Thomann’s primary research centers on using nanoparticles and sunlight to reduce the carbon footprint of power plants. A major focus is photocatalysis, a class [...]

First Nanoscale Tunable Infrared Source Unveiled

A new nanoparticle amplifier that can generate infrared light and boost the output of one light by capturing and converting energy from a second light has been demonstrated by photonics researchers at Rice University. The creation of Rice’s Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP), the device functions similar to a laser. While lasers have a fixed output [...]

New Dust Fighting Tool Inspired By Geckos

The electronics industry, art conservators, and aerospace engineers can face major problems caused by micrometric and sub-micrometric contaminant particles. Or, as most of us call it, dust. These nanoparticles can stop a cellphone from functioning or steal the vividness from a painting’s colors. Taking a cue from the forces of static cling and the physics [...]