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Highlights of 2017

Watch the best of last year on youtube or read the multimedia roundup. You can also check out some of the best research papers featuring nanoscale science and technology from IOP Materials.

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CNT membranes go industrial

Carbon nanotube sheets produced by a start-up company are as good as laboratory prototypes, a result that bodes well for real-world applications such as water desalination and separating gases to make renewable fuels.

Diamond quantum sensor breaks new record

New measurement scheme has increased the spectral resolution of NMR by 100-fold in volumes comparable to a single cell.

CdS nanostructure excels for hydrogen generation

Combining atomic layer deposition with solution ion transfer to coat a TiO2 inverse opal structure in CdS results in structures that raise the bar for CdS-based water splitting.

Graphene meets the standard for industry

Intellectual property specialists and production companies welcome the standards set by the International Organization for Standardization defining when a material is and isn’t graphene.

‘Nanowood’ makes a super thermal insulator

New material is also lightweight and strong, and could help make buildings more energy efficient.

How did complex carbon-based nanostructures form in space?

New experiments could shed more light on how the chemical precursors of life might have been created in the Universe, and in particular in our galaxy.

‘Magic-angle graphene’ behaves like a high-temperature superconductor

New experimental platform could be used to investigate strongly correlated physics – in particular in unconventional superconductivity and quantum spin liquids.

Nanowire arrays help blind mice see again

Artificial photoreceptors might help in the development of improved sub-retinal prosthetics that do not require external power sources.

Artificial photosynthesis and bacteria transform CO2 into specialty chemicals

Solar-powered CO2 electrolysis and fermentation produce chemicals of high demand in multiple industries.

Guanine quadruplexes make good charge transport junctions

New three-terminal element bodes well for DNA electronic circuitry.

Composite polymer electrolyte helps improve Li-ion batteries

A new 3D interconnected framework consisting of ceramic nanofillers made using a nanostructured hydrogel template does not aggregate.

(with audio) Holes reveal first fractional quantization

Conductance measurements of holes loosely confined to one dimension reveal fractional quantization, previously only ever observed in two dimensional systems under a large magnetic field.

Mechanical splitter divides cell-sized liposomes

New technique might provide a way to mimic the growth-division cycle of cells and be important for applications in medicine.

Lasing on the edge

Topological insulator lasers achieve high efficiency and single-mode lasing at high gains.

Photocatalytic heterostructures unleash the potential of doped silver halides

Silver-doped silver chloride nanocubes affixed to silica nanospheres show enhanced photocatalytic activity and stability - a breakthrough for solar energy developments.

Silicon nanowires modulate neuronal activity

New non-invasive technique could help in the development of new non-invasive treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.

Laser-induced graphene for 'edible electronics'

(with video) Carbon sheet can be produced on a wide variety of substrates and even materials such as food, cloth and paper.

Nanomesh sensors for home healthcare

Flexible on-skin sensor can display the moving waveform of an electrocardiogram.

Multiple terminal memtransistors step up to mimic brains

Researchers develop the first multiterminal memristor device using polycrystalline 2D MoS2.

DNA nanobot 'starves' tumours

New device cuts off a tumour’s blood supply thanks to a blood-coagulating protein payload.