Froot Loops, Legos, and Self-Assembly

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Forming nanostructures

Self-assembly is the process by which individual building blocks—at the smallest level, atoms—spontaneously form larger structures. The structures they form depend on the size and shape of the building blocks, and on the conditions to which these building blocks are exposed. This can be demonstrated quite simply using breakfast cereal, or for more complex cases using specially prepared Legos.

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Froot Loops, Legos, and Self-Assembly2018-03-21T12:30:52+00:00

Funsize is Useful Size!

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Why Funsize Physics?

Essentially all of our technology is built by manipulating materials on length scales between a tenth of a billionth of a meter (atom-sized) and a thousand meters (skyscraper-sized). We call this range of sizes "funsize."

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Funsize is Useful Size!2016-03-14T13:24:42+00:00

Carbon Onions

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Exotic nanostructures

Carbon-based nanostructures are among the most intensely studied systems in nanotechnology. Potential practical applications span the fields of medicine, consumer electronics, and hydrogen storage, and they could even be used to develop a space elevator. A research team at the University of Northern Iowa is probing the properties of multilayered carbon nanostructures known as "carbon onions."

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Carbon Onions2016-03-01T11:34:30+00:00

How to Make a Quantum Laser Pointer

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Scientists and engineers are making smaller and smaller structures designed to control the quantum states of electrons in a material. By controlling quantum mechanics, we can create new materials that do not exist in nature, develop more efficient solar cells and faster computer chips, and even discover exotic new states of matter.

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How to Make a Quantum Laser Pointer2016-02-27T23:07:04+00:00