IEEE Nanotechnology Council
Advancing Nanotech for Humanity


October 09, 2020 – Thermal MagIC: New NIST Project to Build Nano-Thermometers Could Revolutionize Temperature Imaging

Cheaper refrigerators? Stronger hip implants? A better understanding of human disease? All of these could be possible and more, someday, thanks to an ambitious new project underway at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

NIST researchers are in the early stages of a massive undertaking to design and build a fleet of tiny ultra-sensitive thermometers. If they succeed, their system will be the first to make real-time measurements of temperature on the microscopic scale in an opaque 3D volume — which could include medical implants, refrigerators, and even the human body.

The project is called Thermal Magnetic Imaging and Control (Thermal MagIC), and the researchers say it could revolutionize temperature measurements in many fields: biology, medicine, chemical synthesis, refrigeration, the automotive industry, plastic production — “pretty much anywhere temperature plays a critical role,” said NIST physicist Cindi Dennis. “And that’s everywhere.”

Measuring and controlling temperature in 3D is highly desirable for medical diagnostics, precision manufacturing, and much more. However, there is currently no way to measure 3D temperature inside these kinds of systems. NIST researchers are working on a solution using tiny nanoscale thermometers. Credit: Sean Kelley/NIST. Music: Blue Dot Sessions.The NIST team has now finished building its customized laboratory spaces for this unique project and has begun the first major phase of the experiment.

Thermal MagIC will work by using nanometer-sized objects whose magnetic signals change with temperature. The objects would be incorporated into the liquids or solids being studied — the melted plastic that might be used as part of an artificial joint replacement, or the liquid coolant being recirculated through a refrigerator. A remote sensing system would then pick up these magnetic signals, meaning the system being studied would be free from wires or other bulky external objects.

The final product could make temperature measurements that are 10 times more precise than state-of-the-art techniques, acquired in one-tenth the time in a volume 10,000 times smaller. This equates to measurements accurate to within 25 millikelvin (thousandths of a kelvin) in as little as a tenth of a second, in a volume just a hundred micrometers (millionths of a meter) on a side. The measurements would be “traceable” to the International System of Units (SI); in other words, its readings could be accurately related to the fundamental definition of the kelvin, the world’s basic unit of temperature.

The system aims to measure temperatures over the range from 200 to 400 kelvin (K), which is about -99 to 260 degrees Fahrenheit (F). This would cover most potential applications — at least the ones the Thermal MagIC team envisions will be possible within the next 5 years. Dennis and her colleagues see potential for a much larger temperature range, stretching from 4 K-600 K, which would encompass everything from supercooled superconductors to molten lead. But that is not a part of current development plans.

“This is a big enough sea change that we expect that if we can develop it — and we have confidence that we can — other people will take it and really run with it and do things that we currently can’t imagine,” Dennis said.

Potential applications are mostly in research and development, but Dennis said the increase in knowledge would likely trickle down to a variety of products, possibly including 3D printers, refrigerators, and medicines.

August 31, 2017 – Photon-triggered nanowire transistors are reported in Nature Nanotechnology

Kim et al., recently reported on photon-triggered nanowire (NW) transistors, a new step toward optical computing. These devices consist of crystalline silicon (CSi) NWs that include (PSi) segments in the middle and electrical contacts at both ends of the NW. The PSi acts as a reservoir and supplies carriers to the CSi channel when is exposed to light. It allows for an on/off ratio as high as 8×106. Based on this method authors also demonstrated photon-triggered logic gates and a sub-micron resolution photodetector system.

To read more:
(Contents prepared by Dr. Noelia Vico Trivino and posted by Jr-Hau (JH) He)


August 31, 2017 – Nanophotonic Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) transducers enable chemical composition and thermal conductivity measurements at the nanoscale

A near-field cavity optomechanics readout concept has been integrated with picogram-scale probes to realize fully functional AFM detection. This allows achieving high temporal resolution (<10 ns) and picometer vertical displacement uncertainty simultaneously, breaking the trade-off between AFM measurement precision and ability to capture transient events.

Adapted with permission from Nano Lett., Article ASAP, DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b02404. Copyright © 2017 American Chemical Society.

To read more:
(Contents prepared by Dr. Noelia Vico Trivino and posted by Jr-Hau (JH) He)

February 23, 2016 – Microtubules propelled by surface-adhered kinesin motors perform biocomputationAn international team of researchers has made a breakthrough in the field of biocomputation.

By exploiting microtubules propelled by surface-adhered kinesin motors as motile nanoscale agents capable of performing basic computations, the subset sum problem was solved in a highly parallel approach. For more information, see Nicolau Jr. et al. in the Early Access Section of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences:


To read more:
(Contents prepared by H. Hess and posted by Y. Tzeng.)


December 25, 2015 – 2-D dichalcogenide MoS2 with PL QY of more than 95% is reported in Science

Amani et al. recently reported near-perfect two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenide, MoS2 with photoluminescence quantum yield of more than 95% by chemical treatment in a nonoxidizing organic superacid: bis(trifluoromethane) sulfonimide (TFSI), which eliminates defect-mediated nonradiative recombination.

To read more: Near-unity photoluminescence quantum yield in MoS2. Matin Amani, Der-Hsien Lien, Daisuke Kiriya, Jun Xiao, Angelica Azcatl, Jiyoung Noh, Surabhi R. Madhvapathy, Rafik Addou, Santosh KC, Madan Dubey, Kyeongjae Cho, Robert M. Wallace, Si-Chen Lee, Jr-Hau He, Joel W. Ager III, Xiang Zhang, Eli Yablonovitch, Ali Javey. Science 27 November 2015:  Vol. 350 no. 6264 pp. 1065-1068, DOI: 10.1126/science.aad2114

(Posted by Yonhua Tzeng)


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