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A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 11-Feb-2015 10:30 AM EST

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Nanoscale Mirrored Cavities Amplify, Connect Quantum Memories

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Constructing tiny "mirrors" to trap light increases the efficiency with which photons can pick up and transmit information about electronic spin states--which is essential for scaling up quantum memories for functional quantum computing systems and networks.

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ORNL Researchers Tune Friction in Ionic Solids at the Nanoscale

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Experiments conducted by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have uncovered a way of controlling friction on ionic surfaces at the nanoscale using electrical stimulation and ambient water vapor.

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Nanoshuttle Wear and Tear: It’s the Mileage, Not the Age

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As nanomachine design advances, researchers are moving from wondering if the nanomachine works to how long it will work—an important question as there are so many potential applications, e.g., for medical uses including drug delivery and early diagnosis. Columbia Engineering Professor Henry Hess observed a molecular shuttle powered by kinesin motor proteins and found it to degrade when operating, marking the first time degradation has been studied in detail in an active, autonomous nanomachine.

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Self-Assembled Nanotextures Create Antireflective Surface on Silicon Solar Cells

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Scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory show that etching a nanoscale texture onto silicon creates an antireflective surface that works as well as state-of-the-art thin-film multilayer antireflective coatings for solar cells.

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One Nanoparticle, Six Types of Medical Imaging

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Researchers have designed a nanoparticle that can be detected by six medical imaging techniques: computed tomography (CT) scanning; positron emission tomography (PET) scanning; photoacoustic imaging; fluorescence imaging; upconversion imaging; and Cerenkov luminescence imaging.

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Self-Destructive Effects of Magnetically-Doped Ferromagnetic Topological Insulators

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A new atomic-scale study of the surface properties of certain ferromagnetic topological insulators reveals that these materials exhibit extreme, unexpected, and self-destructive electronic disorder.

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Immigration, Taxes, National Security, Jobs and the Economy: Experts Needed on Obama's State of the Union Tuesday

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Carbon Nanotube Finding Could Lead to Flexible Electronics with Longer Battery Life

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University of Wisconsin-Madison materials engineers have made a significant leap toward creating higher-performance electronics with improved battery life — and the ability to flex and stretch. Led by materials science Associate Professor Michael Arnold and Professor Padma Gopalan, the team has reported the highest-performing carbon nanotube transistors ever demonstrated. In addition to paving the way for improved consumer electronics, this technology could also have specific uses in industrial and military applications.

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Story Tips from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, January 2015

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While researchers in ORNL’s buildings group focus on increasing energy efficiency using new foam insulation panels, the nanophase materials sector experiments with catalyst performance, revealing an oxidation discovery that could help reduce vehicle emissions. Additionally, ORNL researchers aim to reduce the size, weight and power for some particle accelerators with development of a new voltage supply. And by using water and nano-sized particles isolated from trees and plants, scientists explore low-cost and nontoxic metal oxides.