Success in research

In Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, we have identified several success stories, which outcomes have had either a direct impact scientifically or commercially, but also highlight our collaborative level.

The truth came to light 
Vacuum is by no means empty. In fact, vacuum is full of various (virtual) particles that continuously fluctuate in and out of existence. They appear, exist for a brief movement and then disappear again. A physicist, Gerald T. Moore, predicted way back in the 1970s that this should happen if the virtual photons are allowed to bounce of a mirror that is moving at a speed, almost as high as the speed of light. The phenomenon, known as the dynamical Casimir effect, has now been observed for the first time.

Nano Vs. Viral Infection 
Human norovirus - a gut infection that causes diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain - are estimated to cause up to 200,000 childhood deaths per year world-wide. To infect a cell, a virus must first attach its protein coat to the cell membrane. Anti-drugs block the attachment process in some cases, but for many viruses, researchers do not have enough information about the details of the process. Scientists have now taken an important step towards both making diagnosis more effective and improving options for developing virus-inhibiting drugs.
Graphene, the material of the future    
Graphene, a monolayer of carbon atoms in a honeycomb lattice, is the thinnest material ever isolated. Its unique electrical, mechanical and optical properties are governed by unusual and fascinating physics, and open up entirely new platforms for applications.

Nano improves solar cells 
The world's energy consumption is increasing as the driving forces of globalization, industrialization and markets’ wealth are growing. A rising worldwide demand for efficient, energetic and long-term sources of energy is becoming vital. Nanotechnology brings down the costs for solar cells!
Nanoantenna separates colors of light
A structure that is smaller than the wavelength of visible light (390-770 nanometers) should not really be able to split white light in colors. But that is exactly what the new nanoantenna does. The trick employed by the Chalmers researchers is to build an antenna with an asymmetric material composition, thus automatically generating optical phase shifts between the antenna components.

Published: Thu 31 Mar 2016.