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Los Alamos National LaboratoryCenter for Integrated Nanotechnologies
Helping you understand, create, and characterize nanomaterials

Science Highlights

CINT science highlights from the 4 scientific thrusts: Nanoscale Electronics and Mechanics (NEM), Nanophotonics and Optical Nanomaterials (NPON), Soft, Biological and Composite Nanomaterials (SBCN), Theory and Simulation of Nanoscale Phenomena (Theory)


Nanoscale Electronics and Mechanics (NEM)

3D Nanowires Network Controlled Strain and Functionalities in Vertical Nanocomposites

biomolecular machines

Scientific Achievement: Using a 3D nanowire network, large and uniform strain can be achieved to significantly tune functional properties in nanoscaffold films beyond the “critical thickness”. 

Significance: Strain induced by conventional strain engineering method can only exist within a critical thickness, which is usually few tens of nanometers. This new approach has explored tuning function properties in films beyond critical thickness by using strain induced by a 3D nanowire network. A comprehensive designing principles of large vertical strain which can be generalized in to complex oxide systems.

Research Details: Incorporation of MgO nanowires into a La0.7Sr0.3MnO3 film matrix leads to the synthesis of vertical nanocomposites with well controlled size, and density. Phase-field simulations suggest that the strain is related to the vertical interfacial area and interfacial dislocation density. The established correlation among the vertical interface—strain—properties in nanoscaffold films can consequently be used to tune other functionalities in a broad range of complex oxide films far beyond critical thickness.

Publications: A. P. Chen, et al., “Role of scaffold network in controlling strain and functionalities of nanocomposite films”, Science Advances 2, e1600245 (2016). READ THE ARTICLE.

Nanophotonics and Optical Nanomaterials (NPON)

An integrated diamond nanophotonics platform for quantum optical networks

biomolecular machines

Scientific Achievement: Si ions are implanted in a diamond photonic lattice enabling single-photon optical switches quantum entanglement between two separately implanted atoms.

Significance: This work demonstrates that deterministically created point dislocation defects in diamond can be used as building blocks for quantum networks, useful for quantum information processing, sensing, and biomedical applications.

Research Details: We fabricated optical waveguides in diamond and then implanted Si ions in precise locations in the waveguide. We found that individually the defect centers act as quantum emitters that can be switched from absorbing to emitting with only one photon.  Furthermore, we showed that we can entangle the electronic states two of the defect centers and force them to emit collectively.

Publication: A. Sipahigil, R. E. Evans, D. D. Sukachev,M. J. Burek, Borregaard, M. K. Bhaskar, C. T. Nguyen, J. L. Pacheco, H. A. Atikian,4 C. Meuwly, R. M. Camacho, F. Jelezko, E. Bielejec, H. Park, M. Lončar, M. D. Lukin Science 10.1126/science.aah6875 (2016). READ THE ARTICLE.

Soft, Biological and Composite Nanomaterials (SBCN)

Mimicking supramolecular energy transfer in green bacteria-inspired polymer nanocomposites 

biomolecular machines

Scientific Achievement: An artificial light-harvesting (LH) system composed of block copolymer-based membrane nanocomposites demonstrates three-dimensional, supramolecular energy transfer. The system structurally and functionally mimics green bacterial LH systems. 

Significance: Supramolecular energy transfer is realized using solution-processable polymer membrane materials via self-assembly.  Artificial polymer-based LH system exhibits advantages to biological LH systems, namely; control of composition, flexibility and stability while maintaing bio-like efficiency. 

Research Details: Polymer nanocomposites that structurally and functionally mimic chlorosome LH antenna of green bacteria created using amphiphilic block copolymer as monolayer forming membrane. Multi-membrane energy transfer demonstrated from artificial chlorosome donors to supported polymer membrane acceptors (estimated energy transfer ~55%).

Publications: Collins, A.M.Timin, J.A.,  Anthony, S.M. and Montaño, G.A. (2016) Nanoscale, 8:15056-15063. READ THE ARTICLE.

Theory and Simulation of Nanoscale Phenomena (Theory)

Surface State Detected in Noncentrosymmetric Superconductor


Scientific Achievement: Observed unique spin-polarized surface state in noncentrosymmetric superconductor BiPd.

Significance: The study provides critical information that will guide the future search of topological superconductivity in noncentrosymmetric materials. This realization of topological superconductors to host Majorana surface states will be of technological importance for quantum information.

Research Details: In addition to spin-polarized ARPES spectra taken on single crystal BiPd, density functional theory calculations were performed to obtain electronic structure. Calculations were carried out for both bulk and slab structure of BiP.

Publication: Madhab Neupane,*, Nasser Alidoust,*, M. Mofazzel Hosen,*, Jian-Xin Zhu, Klauss Dimitri, Su-Yang Xu, Nagendra Dhakal, Raman Sankar, Ilya Belopolski, Daniel S. Sanchez, Tay-Rong Chang, Horng-Tay Jeng, Koji Miyamoto, Taichi Okuda, Hsin Lin, Arun Bansil, Dariusz Kaczorowski, Fangcheng Chou, M. Zahid Hasan & Tomasz Durakiewicz. Nature Communications 7, Article number: 13315 (2016) doi:10.1038/ncomms13315. READ THE ARTICLE.