Top 10 Science and Technology Inventions for the Week of February 26, 2021

01. Magnetic effect without a magnet 02. Molecular bridges power up printed electronics 03. Nanofibers for quantum technologies at room temperature 04. New phenomena for the design of future quantum devices 05. Coding for Qubits: How to Program in Quantum Computer Assembly Language 06. Colloidal quantum dot lasers poised to come of age 07. Concept for a new storage medium 08. Quantum systems learn joint computing 09. A speed limit also applies in the quantum world 10. An intelligent soft material that curls under pressure or expands when stretched And others… Ebola Strikes West Africa Again: Key Questions and Lessons […]

Coding for Qubits: How to Program in Quantum Computer Assembly Language

IEEE Spectrum  February 19, 2021 Researchers at Sandia National Laboratory are working on a project to run code provided by academic, commercial, and independent researchers around the world on their “QSCOUT” ( Quantum Scientific Computing Open User Testbed) platform as they steadily upgrade it from 3 qubits today to as many as 32 qubits by 2023. QSCOUT consists of ionized ytterbium atoms levitating inside a vacuum chamber. Flashes of ultraviolet laser light spin these atoms about, executing algorithms written in the team’s quantum assembly code JAQAL (Just Another Quantum Assembly Language). JACQAL includes commands to initialize the ions as qubits, […]

Colloidal quantum dot lasers poised to come of age

Nanowerk  February 18, 2021 A team of researchers in the US (Los Alamos National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory) sums up the recent progress in colloidal-quantum-dot research and highlights the remaining challenges and opportunities in the rapidly developing field, which is poised to enable a wide array of new laser-based and LED-based technology applications. According to the researchers these tiny specs of semiconductor matter can generate spectrally tunable lasing light, opening tremendous opportunities in areas of photonic circuits, optical communications, lab-on-a-chip sensing, and medical diagnostics. They conclude that the accumulated knowledge, along with the approaches developed for manipulating the optical-gain properties […]

Concept for a new storage medium

EurekAlert  February 22, 2021 The control and understanding of antiferromagnetic domain walls are key ingredients for advancing antiferromagnetic spintronic technologies. However, studies of the intrinsic mechanics of individual antiferromagnetic domain walls are difficult because they require sufficiently pure materials and suitable experimental approaches to address domain walls on the nanoscale. An international team of researchers (Switzerland, Germany, Ukraine) nucleated isolated 180° domain walls in a single crystal of Cr2O3, a prototypical collinear magnetoelectric antiferromagnet. They studied their interaction with topographic features fabricated on the sample. They demonstrated domain wall manipulation through the resulting engineered energy landscape and showed that the […]

Ebola Strikes West Africa Again: Key Questions and Lessons from the Past

Global Biodefense  February 18, 2021 The last outbreak of Ebola in West Africa that occurred between 2014 and 2015 and affected Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, was the world’s deadliest Ebola outbreak, which began in Guinea and in which more than 11,300 people died including over 500 health workers. But countries in the West African region are in a very different position seven years on. Liberia and Sierra Leone have already mobilised and activated their national response and preparedness plans. Countries in the region also have the experience of the past, experienced workforce, laboratory systems are more developed, regional organisations […]

An intelligent soft material that curls under pressure or expands when stretched

Nanowerk  February 24, 2021 Existing perceptive soft actuators require complex integration and coupling between the discrete functional units to achieve autonomy and intelligently interact with humans and the environment. Researchers in China have developed actuators with embodied sensing, actuation, and control at the single-unit level by synergistically harnessing the mechanosensing and electrothermal properties of liquid metal (LM) to actuate the thermally responsive liquid crystal elastomer (LCE). They created multifunctional LM circuits on the LCE surface using a simple and facile methodology based on magnetic printing. The fluidic LM circuit can be utilized as a conformable resistive heater, and a sensory […]

Jumping frost crystals: Lab works toward electrostatic de-icing  February 24, 2021 Charge separation in frost has been studied in the past, but the effect has never been exploited to remove the frost from its surface. A team of researchers in the US (Virginia Tech, UC Santa Barbara) exploited the spontaneous electrification of ice to reveal a surprising phenomenon of jumping frost dendrites. They observed frost dendrites breaking off from mother dendrites and/or the substrate to jump out-of-plane toward an opposing polar liquid. They developed analytical and numerical models to estimate the attractive force between the frost dendrites and liquid and found it to be in good agreement […]

Light unbound: Data limits could vanish with new optical antennas

UC Berkeley  February 25, 2021 The quantum Hall effect involves electrons confined to a two-dimensional plane subject to a perpendicular magnetic field, but it also has a photonic analogue. Using heterostructures based on structured semiconductors on a magnetic substrate, a team of researchers in the US (UC San Diego, UC Berkeley) introduced compact and integrated coherent light sources of large orbital angular momenta based on the photonic quantum Hall effect. The photonic quantum Hall effect enables the direct and integrated generation of coherent orbital angular momenta beams of large quantum numbers from light travelling in leaky circular orbits at the […]

Magnetic effect without a magnet

Nanowerk  February 22, 2021 An international team of researchers (Austria, Switzerland, Canada, USA – Rice University) found Ce3Bi4Pd3 produced a giant Hall effect in the total absence of any magnetic field and showed that the strange phenomenon is due to the complicated interaction of the electrons. Specific symmetries of the atoms determine the dispersion relation, the relationship between the energy of the electrons and their momentum. This complex interaction results in phenomena that mathematically look as if there are magnetic monopoles in the material which do not exist in this form in nature. But it has the effect of a […]

Molecular bridges power up printed electronics

Nanowerk  February 25, 2021 Semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) can be used to make conductive inks to manufacture printed electronic and optoelectronic devices. However, defects in their structure may hinder their performance. To boost the electrical performance of TMD based devices an international team of researchers (France, Ireland, UK) has developed ‘molecular bridges’- small molecules that interconnect the TMD flakes. The molecular bridges double up as walls, healing the chemical defects at the edges of the flakes and eliminating electrical vacancies that would otherwise promote energy loss and they provide researchers with a new tool to tailor the conductivity of […]