Tightly focused femtosecond laser pulses have been used to modify transparent dielectric materials, to form voids, and to polymerize resists and resins for more than a decade. A high sub-100-nm spatial resolution has now been reached making it potentially a nano-fabrication tool.
Researchers at the University of New Mexico have demonstrated a new, simple, and facile approach to the fabrication of various nanopatterned films composed of nanoparticles. The findings could lead to nanoparticle sensors for both biological and chemical species.
Contouring measurement methods are important for high quality, high speed and productivity machining in order to achieve the high precision required. Among the most commonly used methods, no measuring techniques have been available with nanometer resolution except for the grating encoder measurement system.
Researchers at Cornell University have developed a novel quantitative nanoparticle-based sensor of chemical concentrations based on organic dye molecules covalently integrated into the matrix of silica nanoparticles. This is the first work that implements an optimized core-shell architecture for such sensor particles.
Gold nanoparticles have shown promise for cancer therapy by virtue of their ability to absorb laser light, heat up and thus kill the tumor. However, in order for the gold nanoparticles to have their therapeutic effect they need to be taken up specifically by tumor cells. Researchers have now used targeted viral vectors as carriers to bring the gold nanoparticles to the location where they need to work.
Humidity is a measure of the moisture content of an environment. Control of humidity is thus essential for maintaining the desired level of moisture in an enclosure be it in a hospital or in a semiconductor-processing unit or in a laboratory. For humidity control an efficient sensor is an absolute necessity.
Researchers in Israel demonstrated a new technique for creating polymer microlenses. While current processes employed for manufacturing large microlens arrays are not compatible with the need to place single microlenses in very precise, strategic locations (such as an intersection of two nanochannels, for example) the Israeli group's method is specifically designed to do so. They deposit small drops of monomer solution with a nanopipette, mounted as an AFM probe (nano fountain pen, or NFP), and subsequently polymerize them, to yield microlenses. Their technique could ultimately lead to nano-biochips with integrated polymer optics.