Physics of Biology

   

Nanoparticles Throw off Microscopic Measurements

Authors: George Rajna

Gold nanoparticles brighten the fluorescent dyes researchers use to highlight and study proteins, bacteria and other cells, but the nanoparticles also introduce an artifact that makes the dye appear removed from the target it's illuminating. [20] Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have created a nanophotonic chip system using lasers and bacteria to observe fluorescence emitted from a single bacterial cell. [19] The cutting edge of data storage research is working at the level of individual atoms and molecules, representing the ultimate limit of technological miniaturisation. [18] This is an important clue for our theoretical understanding of optically controlled magnetic data storage media. [17] A crystalline material that changes shape in response to light could form the heart of novel light-activated devices. [16] Now a team of Penn State electrical engineers have a way to simultaneously control diverse optical properties of dielectric waveguides by using a two-layer coating, each layer with a near zero thickness and weight. [15] Just like in normal road traffic, crossings are indispensable in optical signal processing. In order to avoid collisions, a clear traffic rule is required. A new method has now been developed at TU Wien to provide such a rule for light signals. [14] Researchers have developed a way to use commercial inkjet printers and readily available ink to print hidden images that are only visible when illuminated with appropriately polarized waves in the terahertz region of the electromagnetic spectrum. [13] That is, until now, thanks to the new solution devised at TU Wien: for the first time ever, permanent magnets can be produced using a 3D printer. This allows magnets to be produced in complex forms and precisely customised magnetic fields, required, for example, in magnetic sensors. [12]

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[v1] 2017-09-01 08:04:55

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