Research Highlights (2013 - 2016)

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.


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.


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.


'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.


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.


Visualising Interstellar's black hole

If you have watched the movie Interstellar, you would have seen the images of light around the black hole Gargantua. One effect present is the "shell of fire", which refers to light rays going around a rotating black hole in a spherical orbit. Such orbits were in fact first studied in detail by Assoc. Prof. Edward Teo. A description of this effect and how it was used to produce images of Gargantua can be found in Kip Thorne's book.


Interconversion between three overstretched DNA structures

A new publication by A/Prof Yan Jie and his team reports systematic studies of interconversion between these overstretched DNA structures induced by changing NaCl concentration at constant force.


NUS researchers discover a new mechanism for magnetoresistance in disordered two-dimensional materials

A collaboration between researchers at Monash University (Australia), the University of Maryland (USA) and Shaffique Adam's research group at the National University of Singapore has resulted in the theoretical prediction and experimental observation of a new mechanism by which an applied magnetic field can increase the resistance in disordered graphene and other two-dimensional materials. This work appears in the latest issue of Physical Review Letters, and was designated as an Editors' Suggestion (an honor awarded to the top 15 percent of Letters published in this prestigious journal).


Every Electron Counts!

Using unique research facilities at free-electron laser FLASH at DESY (Germany) and Singapore Synchrotron Light Source of National University of Singapore, a team consisting of researchers from National University of Singapore (NUSNNI-Nanocore, Singapore Synchrotron Light Source, and Department of Physics), Germany (Center for Free Electron Laser, DESY, and University of Hamburg), USA (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Advanced Photon Source), Japan (University of Tokyo and AIST), reveals electronic correlations and screening mechanisms of effective Coulomb on-site repulsions in a model high-temperature superconductor cuprate, spin-ladder compound.


New research shows unlimited heat conduction in graphene

It was reported that scientists at NUS and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz have attested that the thermal conductivity of graphene diverges with the size of the samples. This discovery challenges the fundamental laws of heat conduction for extended materials. Their research and results have now been presented in the scientific journal Nature Communications.


Latest Nano Letters publication

Asst/Prof Adam Shaffique's publication "Direct Imaging of Charged Impurity Density in Common Graphene Substrates" was published in Nano Letters.


A research breakthrough in Graphene Hybrid research

Organic Nano Device Laboratory (ONDL) has made a research breakthrough in Graphene Hybrid research that has been published in Nature Nanotechnology. They have created a first artificial graphite intercalation compound made by layer-by-layer stacking of graphene.


How Graphene and Friends Could Harness the Sun's Energy Hitting Walls

It was reported that a team of researchers from University of Manchester and Graphene Research Centre at NUS have discovered that combining wonder material graphene with other stunning one-atom thick materials could create the next generation of solar cells and optoelectronic devices.
Similar reports in PhysOrg, Nanowerk and Mancunian Matters.


Review paper published in highest-ranked journal (I.F.:40.197) "Chemical Reviews"

Dr. M.V. Reddy from Advanced Batteries lab published their Review paper on anode materials for Li-ion batteries. For the 1st time Asian University published Review paper in Chemical Reviews in the area of Lithium-ion batteries anodes.


Controllable unzipping for intramolecular junctions of graphene nanoribbons and single-walled carbon nanotubes

Graphene is often regarded as one of the most promising candidates for future nanoelectronics. As an indispensable component in graphene-based electronics, the formation of junctions with other materials not only provides utility functions and reliable connexions, but can also improve or alter the properties of pristine graphene, opening up possibilities for new applications.


Functionalized graphene converts charge currents into spin currents

A research team led by Asst Prof Barbaros Özyilmaz from the Department of Physics and theGraphene Research Center at the National University of Singapore took advantage of graphene's unique mechanical properties to artificially increase the intrinsic spin-orbit coupling of graphene.


NUS researchers revealed three distinct structural reorganizations of DNA

In a series of recent studies led by Jie Yan (Associate Professor of Department of Physics, Principal Investigator of Mechanobiology Institute (MBI), Centre of Bio-imaging Sciences (CBIS), and Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART)) has demonstrated that all the three transitions exist, and which ones occur depends on experimental conditions.


Secure communication technology can conquer lack of trust

It was reported that Professor Christian Kurtsiefer and Assistant Professor Stephanie Wehner of the Centre for Quantum Technologies at NUS have used the quantum properties of light to perform the world's first demonstration of a 'secure bit commitment' technology. The demonstration is a proof-of-principle that points towards a possible quantum technology for secure communication in the future. Similar reports were carried in Phys Org.

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