Like a tuning fork struck with a mallet, tiny gold nanodisks can be made to vibrate at resonant frequencies when struck by light. In new research, Rice University researchers showed they can selectively alter those vibrational frequencies by gathering different-sized nanodisks into groups.
“In the tuning fork analogy, it would be as if we could alter the sounds of several forks by bringing them close together,” said Rice nanoscientist Stephan Link, the lead researcher on a study in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “But at the nanoscale, we do not hear a tonal shift; we instead see a tiny change in color. We’ve shown that by grouping nanodisks, we can shift their acoustic resonance in an orderly and predictable way, which could be useful in optomechanics.”
Like a tuning fork struck with a mallet, gold nanodisks on a glass surface can be made to vibrate at resonant frequencies with a pulse of laser light. Rice University researchers found that acoustic vibrations from larger particles modified the resonant frequencies of smaller particles nearby. (Image courtesy of C. Yi/Rice University)
NEST360°, a visionary 10-year effort to save the lives of 500,000 African babies per year, is a finalist for the MacArthur Foundation’s first $100 million 100&Change grant.
NEST360° is one of four 100&Change finalists named today by the foundation. One finalist will be awarded $100 million in December. The 100&Change competition, which began more than a year ago, aims to solve one of the world’s critical problems. The competition drew more than 1,900 applications, and eight semifinalists were selected in February.
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Rice University’s latest nanophotonics research could expand the color palette for companies in the fast-growing market for glass windows that change color at the flick of an electric switch. In a new paper in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano, researchers from the laboratory of Rice plasmonics pioneer Naomi Halas report using a readily available, inexpensive hydrocarbon molecule called perylene to create glass that can turn two different colors at low voltages.
Grant Stec (undergraduate) and Adam Lauchner (graduate student, Applied Physics) of Rice University’s Laboratory for Nanophotonics have used an inexpensive hydrocarbon molecule called perylene to create a low-voltage, multicolor, electrochromic glass. (Photo by Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)
How thin can a camera be? Very, say Rice University researchers who have developed patented prototypes of their technological breakthrough. FlatCam, invented by the Rice labs of electrical and computer engineers Richard Baraniuk and Ashok Veeraraghavan, is little more than a thin sensor chip with a mask that replaces lenses in a traditional camera.
New institute will expand on missions of Rice Quantum Institute, Smalley Institute - Rice University is merging two of its multidisciplinary research institutes, the Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology and the Rice Quantum Institute, to form a new entity, the Smalley-Curl Institute.