Science Highlights

(Left) Silicon wires with match heads and (right) light absorption profile of a single match-head wire at 587 nm absorption.11.01.15Science Highlight

Match-Heads Boost Photovoltaic Efficiency

Tiny “match-head” wires act as built-in light concentrators, enhancing solar cell efficiency. Read More »

Schematic drawing shows an electron (gold sphere) moving in the direction of the green arrow on the surface of a topological crystalline insulator. In this material, the electron’s quantum-mechanical spin (up) (blue arrow) is coupled with the direction of its motion in such a way that reversing its direction of motion would reverse the direction of the spin (down).11.01.15Science Highlight

You Can Have Your Conductor and Insulator, Too

Scientists synthesized a theoretically-predicted material with unusual current-carrying properties that could open the door for next-generation electronics. Read More »

Ultrafast pump-probe microscopy on individual vanadium dioxide microcrystals measures the spatial and temporal variability of ultrafast dynamics of the insulator-to-metal transition.11.01.15Science Highlight

Small Variations Mean Big Changes in Oxide’s Transformation from Insulator to Conductor

Study reveals surprising non-uniformity in vanadium dioxide that could one day enable more energy-efficient technologies. Read More »

A simple chemical analogue to a biological cell responds to a perceived threats.11.01.15Science Highlight

Spontaneous Pressure Regulation within Artificial Cells

Simple human-made cellular analogues both sense and regulate in response to externally created stress. Read More »

A stripe-shaped magnetic region (domain), shown in blue (top left) in an ultrathin film device (orange structure). The narrowing region of the device causes the current distribution to change (two of the three red arrows change direction), leading to the breakdown of the magnetic domain into circular disk-shaped bubbles, called skyrmions (bottom left) Magnetic skyrmion bubbles (bottom right) were experimentally observed using magnetic imaging.11.01.15Science Highlight

Creating Novel Magnetic Islands for Spintronics

Generating and moving small, stable magnetic islands at room temperature could be the ticket to more energy-efficient electronics. Read More »

The microtubules (green) pull polymer nanotube networks (red) from polymer reservoirs (fluorescence image).11.01.15Science Highlight

Build a Network, Cellular Style

Bio-based molecular machines mechanically extrude tiny tubes and form networks, aiding in the design of self-repairing materials. Read More »

Picture of newly-devised frequency comb.10.01.15Science Highlight

Toward Powerful and Compact Terahertz Spectrometers

A new, dime-sized light source will lead to novel spectrometers for the next generation of scientific discoveries. Read More »

Visualized model of a superlubricity (low-friction) system: gold = nanodiamond particles; red = graphene nanoscroll; green = underlying graphene on silica; black = diamond-like carbon surface.10.01.15Science Highlight

Near Zero Friction from Nanoscale Lubricants

Researchers have attained superlubricity, the near absence of friction, at a carbon-silica interface using nanodiamonds wrapped in graphene flakes. Read More »

Shape memory alloys are used in coronary stents that expand in arteries to hold vessels open.10.01.15Science Highlight

Reliable Alloy that Refuses to Forget, Repeatedly

Low-fatigue material remembers its shape, despite being transformed over 10 million times, could upgrade solar devices. Read More »

Schematic of a “solar flow battery” with the three-electrode configuration: lithium anode electrode, counter electrode (CE), and photo-electrode (PE).10.01.15Science Highlight

Eco-friendly Battery and Solar Cell All-in-One

Keeping the lights on: Solving the intermittency shortcomings of renewable solar energy. Read More »