Research Highlights (AY2007 - 2008)

A New Data Acquisition and Imaging System for Nuclear Microscopy Based on NI FPGA Technology

The introduction of the FPGA cards by NI has made it possible for the first time to develop reconfigurable custom data acquisition hardware easily with LabVIEW. Data acquisition issues such as precise timing for scanning and operating system latencies can now be easily overcome using this new technology because the data acquisition software is embedded in the FPGA chip on the card.


Graphene solution

Graphene—carbon atoms in a single honeycomb sheet—is proving to be a remarkable material because of its excellent electron transport properties and potential applications. Reproducible ways of synthesizing this material are still under development, however, and a simple means of depositing films is still elusive.


Dynamics of Matter-Wave Solitons in a Ratchet Potential

We study the dynamics of bright solitons formed in a Bose-Einstein condensate with attractive atomic interactions perturbed by a weak bichromatic optical lattice potential.


Low-Temperature Scanning Tunneling Microscopy Investigation of Epitaxial Growth of F16CuPc Thin Films on Ag(111)

In-situ low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy (LT-STM) used to systematically investigate the epitaxial growth behaviors of copper hexadecafluorophthalocyanine (F16CuPc) on Ag(111) from one monolayer to a few layers is featured on the front cover of the Journal of Physical Chemistry, Vol. 112, No, 8, September 25, 2008.


Structure-Mechanical Properties of Individual Cobalt Oxide Nanowires

We present a combinatory approach to address the correlation between mechanical properties of individual nanowires (NWs) with their characteristic size, microstructure and chemical composition. The same individual NWs can be studied repeatedly after different treatments.


Thermal memory: a storage of phononic information

In this Letter we demonstrate via numerical simulation that thermal (phononic) information stored in the memory can be retained for a long time without being lost and more importantly can be read out without being destroyed. The work is also highlighted in physicsworld.com on August 29, 2008.


Aligned CNT as Nanosieve for Quantum Dots

In recent years, great progress has been made in the synthesis and application studies of hybrid nanomaterial systems involving carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Efforts involve the alteration of physical properties of CNTs via the use of organic, inorganic, and biological species to produce functionalized CNTs for further applications. The work is highlighted in Nanowerk.com on June 27, 2008.


Borane leads the way to alternative fuels

New routes to hydrogen storage materials, which could offer alternative fuel for cars, have been developed by two teams of scientists in the US and Singapore.


Quantum cryptography with finite resources

Quantum cryptography is the first quantum information task to reach the level of mature technology, already fit for commercialization. It aims at the creation of a secret key between authorized partners connected by a quantum channel and a classical authenticated channel, whence the proper name of Quantum Key Distribution (QKD).


Self-assembled organic donor/acceptor nanojunction arrays

We have fabricated well-ordered organic donor/acceptor nanojunction arrays comprising p-sexiphenyl (6P) and C60 via self-assembly of C60 on the molecular nanotemplate of 6P nanostripes on Ag(111). This paper has made the cover of Applied Physics Letters on May 2008 issue. It is also highlighted by the Nature Nanotechnology, Vol. 3 July 2008, page 375.


Electrifying hot silicon nanowires

New simulations predict that doping silicon nanowires with heavier silicon isotopes can dramatically lower their thermal conductivity-an important step towards the realization of high efficiency thermoelectric nanowire devices.


Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Multivalent-Ion Mediated Attraction between DNA Molecules

All atom molecular dynamics simulations with explicit water were done to study the interaction between two parallel double-stranded DNA molecules in the presence of the multivalent counterions putrescine (2+), spermidine (3+), spermine (4+) and cobalt hexamine (3+).


Controlling the Ratchet Effect for Cold Atoms

Low-order quantum resonances manifested by directed currents have been realized with cold atoms.


Thermal Transistors and logic gates: Phononics gets hot

Researchers have succeeded in building diodes that manipulate heat, which paves the way for thermal transistors and logic.


Experimental Falsification of Leggett's Nonlocal Variable Model

Bell's theorem guarantees that no model based on local variables can reproduce quantum correlations. Also, some models based on nonlocal variables, if subject to apparently "reasonable" constraints, may fail to reproduce quantum physics.


High-capacity hydrogen storage in lithium and sodium amidoboranes

The safe and efficient storage of hydrogen is widely recognized as one of the key technological challenges in the transition towards a hydrogen-based energy economy.


Thermal logic gates: Computation with phonons

Logic gates are basic digital elements for computers. We build up thermal logic gates that can perform similar operations as their electronic counterparts.


The ratchet effect and transport islands in chaotic sea

Study of directed transport in a classical deterministic dissipative system. The generic case of mixed phase space and show that large ratchet currents can be generated thanks to the presence, in the Hamiltonian limit, of transporting stability islands embedded in the chaotic sea.


Configuration dependent critical nuclei in the self assembly of magic clusters

Evidence for the formation of various 2-D structures possessing different numbers of Co–Si magic clusters (size 10.0 ± 0.5 ), configurations and lifetimes are studied in real time on a Si(111)-(7 × 7) surface at elevated temperature in the STM.


Controlled insulator-to-metal transformation in printable polymer composites with nanometal clusters

The image is of an event-by-event Monte Carlo simulation of MeV protons (i.e with millions of electron-volts of energy) plunging into a material. The protons lead to secondary electron (delta-ray) cascades (seen as fiery streaks) that are the predominant mode of energy deposition.


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