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IOP A community website from IOP Publishing spring round-up


We look at the top stories on over the first three months of 2015.

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Square ice forms in graphene sandwich

Researchers discover a new phase of water.

Gold nanostars enhance MRI signal

DNA–gadolinium nanoconjugates make highly efficient contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging.

“Wrinkly” graphene deforms in an unusual way

Its behaviour is completely different to that of flat material.

Gel permeation purifies double-walled carbon nanotubes

New technique sorts by outer wall electronic type.

Carbon-coated particles improve battery anode

“Non-filling” porous silicon microstructures might be used to make ultrahigh performance lithium-ion electrodes.

Light controls morphology of organic self-assemblies

Technique might be useful for making solar cells.

Nanowire-based electrode could lead to better supercapacitors

Breakthrough could mean smaller and lighter energy-storage systems

Unravelling the background in SERS

New finding could help improve Surface enhanced Raman scattering for analytical applications.

Surface structure can tailor adhesion

(with audio) By making gold nanoparticles with different shapes, researchers have identified how surface atomic structures affect friction and adhesion.

Diamond structure channels photons in their millions

Bull's-eye grating in diamond membrane could help improve nanosensors, single photon sources, and quantum memories for quantum computing and networking.

Carbon nanotubes heat up

Hot spots in CNT arrays could degrade device performance.

Fractal patterns seen on emerging cancerous cells

Study could point to new ways of preventing some cancers.

Graphene quantum dots split Cooper pairs

Quantum computers could benefit from new source of entangled electrons.

Flexible phosphorene FET is a first

New device has record carrier mobilities.

Correcting quantum errors in superconducting circuits

Repetitive error detection technique could help make robust qubits for future quantum computers.

Metal-free nanocomposite makes cheap and efficient ORR catalyst

Carbon nanotubes and graphene could speed up the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells.

Nanomagnetic effects find a cool application

(with audio) The observation of the magnetocaloric effect in readily fabricated thin films suggests nanostructures may be exploited in refrigeration.

Laser anneal improves graphene ink

The method might be used to improve inks made from other 2D materials too.

“Nanorattles” reduce tumour size

Structures made from gold quantum dots inside a porous silica shell could be used to image and destroy cancer cells.

Polarized light pushes graphene plasmons

New result could not only be important for studying how charge carriers move in graphene but could also help build graphene-based elements for the rapidly developing field of metamaterials.