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Key achievements and challenges in STM and AFM

Peter Grütter talks about progress in identifying structure-function relations at the atomic scale using atomic force microscopy.

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Technology update

Breaking research and industry highlights

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Tiny laser makes 'twisted light'

New device could allow orbital angular momentum to be used in telecommunication devices.

Hybrid nanogenerator powers a safety helmet

The new device might come in useful for engineers, miners and disaster-relief workers, especially in remote areas.

Chlorine vacancies make atomic memory

(with movie) A step towards ultradense rewritable devices.

Nanotubes help engineer attractive electrons

A mechanism first predicted 50 years ago but never yet seen in a laboratory experiment could help make stronger and more exotic superconductors.

Snell's law for spin waves measured at long last

Law deviates from that governing light and could lead to "magnonic" devices of the future.

Electron beam switches nanodomains

Technique could be used to produce high-density memories based on ferroelectric materials.

Graphene composite enables metre-sized flexible displays

(with movie) A prototype electroluminescent device makes use of the material GraphExeter’s transparency and low sheet resistance.

Carbon nanotube mesh helps reorganise neural tissue

New technology could help repair nerve fibres after injury or disease.

Growing atomically thin transistors and circuits

Berkeley Lab researchers have succeeded in chemically assembling the electronic junctions between a 2D semiconductor (molybdenum sulphide) and graphene.

Neural networks provide deep insights into the mysteries of water

Simulations reveal the importance of van der Waals interactions.

MoS2 nanopores make tiny generators

The devices produce a large, osmotically induced current with a power density of up to 106 watts per square metre.

2D dichalcogenide makes voltage-controlled oscillator

New 'charge-density-wave' device works at room temperature and could find use in a host of practical applications.

2D perovskite solar cells break new efficiency record

'Ruddlesden–Popper' devices have a photovoltaic efficiency as high as 12.52%, are photostable and resistant to heat and humidity.

CNTs and diamond spins make nanomechanical hybrid device

The device could be used to make quantum logic gates based on electric spins as well as novel sensors that can detect nanoscale magnetic field changes.

Molecules break up under quantum control

New technique could provide entangled atoms for matter-wave experiments.

Perovskite LEDs shine brighter

Green light-emitting devices have an external quantum efficiency of 3.8% and a quantum yield as high as 77%.

Imaging relativistic electrons in graphene p-n junctions

A new and easy way to confine and control Dirac fermions could help make better nanoscale devices from the carbon sheet.

GaN matches ZnO nanogenerator devices

Multiscale studies of GaN nanowires reveal state of the art piezoelectric generator performance for harvesting ambient mechanical energy.

Metal-organic framework makes good battery separator

Porous hybrid composite helps reduce capacity decay rates by solving the 'polysulphide shuttling problem'.

Nanoelectronics scaffold maps cardiac cells

New platform could be used to monitor and stimulate cardiac activity post-surgery.