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Nanoscience Discoveries

NSF's public investment in science, engineering, education and technology helps to create knowledge and sustain prosperity. Read here about the Internet, microbursts, Web browsers, extrasolar planets, and more... a panoply of discoveries and innovations that began with NSF support.

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Generic Discovery Image Nanogrid, activated by sunlight, breaks down pollutants in water, leaving biodegradable compounds
Innovation Corps project explores how to bring technology to the field
Released  November 8, 2013
Graphic illustration showing a human head, light and waves Prying Open the Black Box of the Brain
NSF-funded workshop addresses brain structure and function
Released  June 12, 2013
Schematic illustration of the design concept for self-assembling drug amphiphiles Scientist Studies How to Turn Cancer Drugs Into Their Own Delivery Systems
Key is incorporating water properties into effective nanoscale systems
Released  April 5, 2013
Rolls of printed graphene electronics. Graphene Technology Gaining a Foothold in the Marketplace
NSF grantee Vorbeck Materials, one of the first companies to produce graphene-based products, is expanding its operations
Released  February 13, 2013
University of Michigan engineering researcher Brent Gillespie uses a prototype of a device. Technology May Soon Turn Thoughts Into Action
NSF funds research to develop potentially life-changing technology for millions of prosthetic-dependent people
Released  July 27, 2011
Photo of bioengineer Rafael Davalos in his laboratory at Virginia Tech. New Cancer Treatments More Potent With Fewer Side Effects
Scientists are investigating new combined therapies to deliver cancer treatments that target only the tumor without damaging normal tissue
Released  November 19, 2010
Graphic simulation of electron cloud in layer of copper oxide in a cuprate superconductor. Asymmetric Electron Behavior Discovered in High-temperature Superconductors
Finding could eventually lead to cheaper electrical power
Released  August 31, 2010
Artistic visualization of the atomic and magnetic moment structure of chromia. Researchers Control Collective Spin States Electrically at Room Temperature
Breakthrough paves way to store and process information in novel spin-electronics
Released  August 16, 2010
Video showing gecko feet. Following in the Footsteps of Nature
Researchers move one step closer to nature with the development of polymers and directional adhesion that follow the workings of a gecko's foot
Released  February 9, 2010
Illustration showing H. pylori liquefying stomach mucin to cross over to the epithelium cells. How Bacteria Get Past Our Defenses
Research team uncovers how the bacterium that causes ulcers travels through the sticky gels of stomach mucus
Released  November 4, 2009
Photo of Sudipta Seal holding a bottle containing billions of ultra-small, engineered nanoceria. Nanoparticles Explored for Preventing Cell Damage
Engineers investigate using nanoparticles both as a preventative and a treatment for disease
Released  July 14, 2009
Photo of Ryan Miyakawa warming up the orchestra before recording The Nano Song. Nanotechnology Video Wins Competition, Scores Big Hit on YouTube
While nanotechnology is a field that is generally not well understood by the public, Ryan Miyakawa and fellow graduate students at the University of California Berkeley found a way to both enlighten and entertain non-scientists with this topic
Released  May 11, 2009
Photo showing bright red-orange photoluminescence from porous silicon nanoparticles. Safer Nano Cancer Detector
Nanoparticle test in mice could pave the way for human uses
Released  April 30, 2009
Eight thumbnail images and 2008 in Review 2008: Year in Review
A look back at some of the NSF-supported advances and activities that made news last year
Released  March 13, 2009
Image showing the red and blue letters retrieved from a data cube. New Record for World's Smallest Letters
Stanford University breaks record set in 1991, promises denser information storage
Released  March 10, 2009
Illustration showing one sphere being repelled from a plate and the other sphere being attracted. Nanoscale Repulsion
Tiny quantum force, measured for the first time, could be an aid to nanodevice designers
Released  February 19, 2009
Image showing ball and stick model of two crossing carbon nanotubes on a graphite surface. Measuring Excitement for Carbon Nanotubes
Studying light pulses in nanoscale molecules brings scientists closer to understanding properties that may lead to a multitude of applications
Released  February 10, 2009
Illustration of heads with brains. Synthetic Brains
Researchers study the feasibility of brains made from carbon nanotubes
Released  January 27, 2009
Photo of Ayusman Sen's laboratory team in 2008. Nanoparticles Taught to Swim
NSF-supported research team at Penn State creates nanoscale motors powered by catalytic reactions that convert chemical energy into motion
Released  November 20, 2008
Photo of a gecko, which has a unique ability to scamper across shear surfaces and vertical walls. How to Make Adhesive as Good as a Gecko
Materials scientist Ali Dhinojwala and his team use nanotechnology to develop adhesive tapes that stick better than a gecko’s foot
Released  October 16, 2008
Illustration of a bioparticle (left) ready to bind antigens (yellow) from tumor cells. Natural Bio-Army Trained to Fight Cancer
Bioengineer Tarek Fahmy and colleagues are engineering new nanoscopic and microscopic biomaterials to stimulate the body’s production of killer T-cells to fight infectious diseases
Released  August 8, 2008
John Chmiola holds an electrochemical capacitor's electrode. Supercapacitors Could Be Key to a Green Energy Future
John Chmiola, a doctoral student at Drexel University, is doing groundbreaking work on supercapacitors
Released  July 30, 2008
Illustration of photocathode gun. Brightest X-ray Vision at the Nano-scale
Superconducting 'universal toolkit' for scientists, engineers will conserve energy, too
Released  June 6, 2008
Photo of Professor Israel Wachs with the combined Raman-Infrared spectrometer/microscope. Scientist Explores Invisible Environmental Helpers
Researcher uses his expertise in catalysis to impact major environmental issues
Released  April 25, 2008
2007 In Review 2007: Year in Review
A look back at some of the NSF-supported advances and activities reported last year
Released  January 30, 2008
2006 in Review 2006: Year in Review
A look back at some of the NSF-supported activities highlighted last year
Released  January 9, 2007
Electrons hitting an iron-carbide filled carbon nanotube cause it to contract and extrude material. Nanotubes Not for Toothpaste . . . Yet
Researchers Squeeze Even Rock-Hard Materials Through Minuscule Carbon Tubes
Released  July 25, 2006
With strong magnetic fields and cold temperatures, magnetic order in barium-copper silicate emerges. Purple Haze
Ancient pigment reveals secrets about unusual state of matter
Released  July 11, 2006
Vesicle membranes that collapse when cooled may someday deliver minute payloads of medicines. Micro Pills Could Deliver Drugs on Demand
Temperature-sensitive capsules release chemicals at tightly controlled rates
Released  March 27, 2006
The new nanofountain probe produced these patterns; features are as thin as 40 nanometers The World’s Smallest Fountain Pen?
New microscope tips use capillary action to print patterns tens of nanometers across
Released  October 5, 2005

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