“It’s a bit like driving past a vineyard and looking out the window at the vineyard rows. Every now and then, you see no rows because you’re looking directly along a row,” said Nathaniel Gabor, an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Riverside. “This is akin to what happens when two atomic layers are stacked on top of each other. At certain angles of twist, everything is energetically allowed. It adds up just right to allow for interesting possibilities of energy transfer.”
This is the future of new materials being synthesized by twisting and stacking atomically thin layers, and is still in the “alchemy” stage, Gabor added. To bring it all under one roof, he and physicist Justin C. W. Song of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, have proposed this field of research be called “electron quantum metamaterials” and have just published a perspective article in Nature Nanotechnology.
“We highlight the potential of engineering synthetic periodic arrays with feature sizes below the wavelength of an electron. Such engineering allows the electrons to be manipulated in unusual ways, resulting in a new range of synthetic quantum metamaterials with unconventional responses,” Gabor said.
Metamaterials are a class of material engineered to produce properties that do not occur naturally. Examples include optical cloaking devices and super-lenses akin to the Fresnel lens that lighthouses use. Nature, too, has adopted such techniques – for example, in the unique coloring of butterfly wings – to manipulate photons as they move through nanoscale structures.
“Unlike photons that scarcely interact with each other, however, electrons in subwavelength structured metamaterials are charged, and they strongly interact,” Gabor said. “The result is an enormous variety of emergent phenomena and radically new classes of interacting quantum metamaterials.”
Gabor and Song were invited by Nature Nanotechnology to write a review paper. But the pair chose to delve deeper and lay out the fundamental physics that may explain much of the research in electron quantum metamaterials. They wrote a perspective paper instead that envisions the current status of the field and discusses its future.
Image Credit: CIFAR
News This Week
Nearly a third of physicians will be sued at least once in their careers — most commonly for an error in diagnosis. Medical errors are also the third-leading cause of death in the United [...]
Inventors and scientists have been continuously working towards reducing the size of technological components. Room-sized computers to laptops that are slimmer than a pane of glass? It’s done. Huge bulky telephones to smartphones that [...]
You have witnessed a variety of nano-devices that were designed for tasks including delivering medicines within the body. All of them used to move in a variety of ways. However, the latest nano-device is [...]
Netra Rajesh is an undergraduate Engineering Science student specializing in Biomedical Systems Engineering. She is currently on her Professional Experience Year (PEY) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where her research lies at the [...]
Nearly half of the companies in Europe that call themselves AI start-ups don't in fact use artificial intelligence, a new report found. The research, published Tuesday by London-based venture capital firm MMC Ventures, found [...]
A new quantum sensor developed by researchers at the University of Waterloo's Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) has proven it can outperform existing technologies and promises significant advancements in long-range 3D imaging and monitoring [...]
Summary: Researchers use nanotech to enhance vision in mice, enabling them to see infrared light as well as visible light. Source: Cell Press. Mice with vision enhanced by nanotechnology were able to see infrared [...]
Immune Aspects of Biopharmaceuticals and Nanomedicines Available from CRC Press 1st Edition Raj Bawa, Janos Szebeni, Thomas J Webster, Gerald F. Audette The enormous advances in the immunology of biotherapeutics and nanomedicines in the [...]
Artificial Intelligence - Ethics, Governance and Policy Challenges by Andrea Renda and CEPS Think Tank released. About the report: CEPS is launching a Task Force to try to bring back the AI debate to [...]
The Nanofacturing consortium has worked on a pan-European nanopharmaceutical project to develop new manufacturing methods and improve supply chain co-ordination to advance treatments for rare cancers, autoimmune diseases and viral infections. The Nanofacturing collaboration [...]
You know those little motes or floaters you that you sometimes see moving in your vision? Well, someday very soon, those could be robots. An international team of medical researchers has unveiled a new [...]
Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München, a partner in the German Center for Lung Research, have presented a new imaging method in the scientific journal ACS Nano ("Three-Dimensional Quantitative Co-Mapping of Pulmonary Morphology and [...]