Research Highlights (AY2015 - 2016)

Going covert: a security step above encryption

CQT's Valerio Scarani and Juan Miguel Arrazola have shown that two parties can hide a quantum signal sent between them within background noise: keeping secret not only the contents of their message but also the fact that they are in conversation. The work is published in Physical Review Letters.


Fluorescent concentric triangles

NUS physicists have discovered fluorescent concentric triangles in an atomically thin layer of semiconductor for potential optoelectronic applications. A team led by Prof Chorng Haur SOW devised a method to fabricate in-plane periodical and lateral homojunctions in a WS2 monolayer.


Super-resolution imaging using MeV ion beams

A research team led by Prof Andrew BETTIOL from the Centre for Ion Beam Applications (CIBA) in the Department of Physics, NUS has constructed a system for simultaneous fluorescence and structural imaging of whole cells by using a beam of highly focused (MeV) ions.


Solution-processable conducting films with extreme work functions

A team led by Prof Peter HO and Dr Rui-Qi PNG from the Department of Physics, and Prof Lay-Lay CHUA from the Department of Chemistry, has shown that this process can be exploited to produce doped conducting polymer films with ultrahigh and ultralow work functions which are suitable for deployment in practical device structures by solution processing.


Tortuous path to nanocrystals

A team of researchers from NUS, the Agency for Science Technology and Research and the University of Chicago, co-led by Prof Utkur MIRSAIDOV and Prof Duane LOH, both from the Department of Physics and Department of Biological Sciences have revealed the complex and elusive steps in crystallising nanocrystals from solution.


Polarons for flexible electronics

A team led by A/Prof Peter HO and Dr Rui-Qi PNG from the Department of Physics, together with Prof Lay-Lay CHUA from the Department of Chemistry, has systematically demonstrated that the workfunction in some new doped organic semiconductors can be made anomalously deeper than its ionisation potential.


Parallelised computation lens goes open-source

In a project led by Asst/Prof Duane LOH from the Department of Physics at NUS, physicists from the Centre for Free-electron Laser (Hamburg, Germany) and Cornell University (Ithaca, NY, USA) have published the first open-source x-ray laser-based computational lenses to image free-standing proteins in solution.


High photoconductivity from hybrid bilayer

A team led by Prof Chorng Haur SOW, from the Department of Physics, NUS has developed a method to "heal" the defects present in the WSe2 monolayers. They developed effective methods for enhancing the performance of a WSe2 monolayer photodetector using laser tailoring and perovskite functionalisation.


Verified: super-resolution imaging technique

CQT experimentalists first to test novel optical method invented by NUS colleagues. A novel technique to measure the separation of two lights sources, no matter how close they are, was first tested by researchers at the Centre for Quantum Technologies.


View on DNA micromechanics through the quantum physics' matrix

A research group led by A/Prof Yan Jie from Department of Physics and Mechanobiology Institute (MBI) have developed a novel theoretical approach based on powerful transfer-matrix mathematical technique, which allows to predict how local orientational and structural fluctuations of DNA affect its large-scale behavior.


A new class of materials

A collaboration between the theory group led by Asst/Prof Adam SHAFFIQUE and the experimental group of Prof Michael FUHRER from Monash University produced, for the first time, ultra-thin films of an exciting new class of materials known as Weyl semi-metals.


Recyclable nanocomposites for environmental remediation

A team of scientists led by Prof CHEN Wei from the Department of Chemistry and Physics in NUS has developed multi-component nanocomposites which function as efficient visible-light photocatalysts with excellent magnetic recoverability. There is rapidly growing demand for materials with high efficiency, good reusability, and low cost to reduce pollutants from wastewater.


A see-through metal

An experimental research team led by Asst/Prof Goki EDA from the Departments of Chemistry and Physics and the Centre for Advanced 2D Materials in NUS found that metal nanoparticles partially lose their ability to reflect light and become semi-transparent when a layer of ultra-thin semiconductor is placed in their proximity.


The mechanical response of talin

A study is led by Assoc. Prof. Jie Yan from the Department of Physics and Mechanobiology Institute, NUS and Prof. Michael Sheetz from the Mechanobiology Institute, NUS have shown how a protein called talin senses mechanical force exerted on a cell and buffers the force through stochastic unfolding and refolding of its multiple folded domains during mechanical stretching and relaxation of talin.


Biomimetic autonomous nanowalker breaks record of fuel efficiency

Led by Prof. Zhisong Wang, a team of graduate students and researcher fellows at NUS Physics have designed and demonstrated an autonomous DNA bipedal nanowalker that achieves a fuel efficiency of less than two fuel molecules consumed per step. This work is published in ACS NANO


"Butterfly" defects on 2D Materials

A team led by Prof Andrew WEE and Prof QUEK Su Ying, together with Dr HUANG Yuli from A*STAR's Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) discovered novel defect states at grain boundaries (GBs) in a two-dimensional (2D) semiconductor.


Unique photoresponse from 2D phosphorene-phosphorene-suboxide

A team led by Prof Chorng Haur SOW, Prof Barbaros ÖZYILMAZ, Prof Antonio CASTRO-NETO, Dr Alexandra CARVALHO and Dr Junpeng LU from the Department of Physics and the Centre for Advanced 2D Materials in NUS devised a straightforward method to create a functional junction on a phosphorene flake, observing enhanced photoresponse from it.


Quantum satellite device tests technology for global quantum network

Singapore-built satellite makes and measures light particles pair by pair. Team-leader Asst/Prof Alexander Ling, a Principal Investigator at the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) at NUS, says "This is the first time anyone has tested this kind of quantum technology in space."


Topological semimetal phases via periodic driving

NUS scientists have discovered Floquet topological semimetal phases in a simple dynamical model. Aa team led by Prof GONG Jiangbin has advanced this topic by showing how three-dimensional (3D) topological semimetal phases can be easily obtained and simulated using 1-dimensional (1D) dynamical systems.


Giant photoluminescence in monolayer tungsten diselenide

A group of NUS physicists lead by Professor Andrew Wee have shown that giant photoluminescence (PL) enhancement is demonstrated by suspending the two-dimensional (2D) semiconductor WSe2 on sub-20 nanometre (nm) wide trenches in gold nanoarray substrates.


Result smashes size record for quantum correlations

In collaboration with researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland, CQT theorists Jean-Daniel Bancal and Professor Valerio Scarani found evidence of Bell correlations in an ultracold cloud of about 480 atoms. The research is described in the paper "Bell correlations in a Bose-Einstein condensate" published 22 April in Science.


Team Discovers New Way of Transferring Magnetic Information

A team led by researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has achieved a major breakthrough in magnetic interaction. By adding a special insulator, they make electrons "twirl" their neighbouring "dance partners" to transfer magnetic information over a longer range between two thin layers of magnetic materials.


Surviving spins in two dimensions

A team co-led by Asst/Prof Goki EDA and Asst/Prof Shaffique ADAM, in collaboration with experimental and theoretical research groups from the Department of Physics in NUS and Yale-NUS College, has discovered the underlying spin scattering mechanisms in a 2D sheet of MoS2. .


NUS researchers find new way to control electrons

Scientists at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have demonstrated a new way of controlling electrons by confining them in a device made out of atomically thin materials, and applying external electric and magnetic fields. This research, published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature, was led by Professor Antonio Castro Neto and his research team at the Centre for Advanced 2D Materials (CA2DM).


Experiment records extreme quantum weirdness

Professor Christian Kurtsiefer and researchers from CQT have reported the most extreme 'entanglement' between pairs of photons ever seen in the lab. The result was published 30 October in Physical Review Letters, where it is highlighted as an Editors' Suggestion.


'Breathing physics' at the atom smasher

The NUS High Energy Physics Phenomenology Group was featured on Monday Straits Times, 16 Nov 2015: "'Breathing physics' at the atom smasher". The group is led by Prof. Oh CH and A/Prof. Phil Chan, comprising two PhD students and five MSc particle physics students.


Scientists achieve major breakthrough in thin-film magnetism

A team of scientists (Mr Li Changjian, Asst/Prof Ariando and Professor T Venky Venkatesan) from the National University of Singapore (NUS), together with collaborators from Singapore, the Netherlands, United States and Ireland, has uncovered a new twist to the story of thin-film magnetism by growing perfectly-crystalline atomic layers of a manganite using a method known as pulsed laser deposition.


Exacting measurements on atoms do better than theory

A new publication led by Asst/Prof Manas Mukherkee and his team has been published in Physical Review A on 17 April as a Rapid Communication. The results are relevant to the search for physics beyond the Standard Model.


Dynamics of equilibrium folding and unfolding transitions of titin immunoglobulin domain under constant forces

A new JACS publication by A/Prof Yan Jie and his team report the first equilibrium single-molecule force manipulation study of the classic titin I27 immunoglobulin domain using ultra stable magnetic tweezers.


Stability and Kinetics of c-MYC Promoter G-Quadruplexes Studied by Single-Molecule Manipulation

A new publication by A/Prof Yan Jie and his team provide important insights into the stability of a broad class of promoter G4's which also play a role in transcription regulation and are potential anticancer targets.


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