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Newsletter Archive

New MSD Division Director

Greetings MSD. It would be amiss for us not to begin with the biggest news that's going around Building 66:  Welcome to MSD's new Division Director, Xiang Zhang. He is the lead PI on MSD's Subwavelength Metamaterial Design, Physics, and Applications program, has been on the UC Berkeley faculty since 2004, and has a distinguished record of research.  Read more here.

Molecular Foundry scientists show 'Peppytide' model at Maker Faire

Molecular Foundry researchers Promita Chakraborty and Ronald Zuckermann exhibited their work on Peppytide, a physical molecular model of the polypeptide chain, in the Maker Faire Bay Area 2014 held May 17-18.  Peppytide is 3-D printed physical model that accurately reproduces the bond rotational degrees of freedom in the peptide backbone. Read more...

Unexpected water explains surface chemistry of nano crystals

Danylo Zherebetskyy and colleagues found unexpected traces of water in semiconducting nanocrystals. The water as a source of small ions for the surface of colloidal lead sulfide nanoparticles allowed the team to explain how the surface of these important particles are passivated, meaning how they achieve an overall balance of positive and negative ions. Read more...

First fully 2D transistors promise a faster electronics future

Faster electronic device architectures are in the offing with the unveiling of the world’s first fully two-dimensional field-effect transistor (FET) by researchers led by Ali Javey.  Unlike conventional FETs made from silicon, these 2D FETs suffer no performance drop-off under high voltages and provide high electron mobility, even when scaled to a monolayer in thickness.  Read more...

First atomic-scale look at evolution of a bimetallic nanocatalyst

Atomic-scale snapshots of a bimetallic nanoparticle catalyst in action have provided insights that could help improve the industrial process by which fuels and chemicals are synthesized from natural gas, coal or plant biomass. A multi-national lab collaboration led by Haimei Zheng has taken the most detailed look ever at the evolution of platinum/cobalt bimetallic nanoparticles during reactions in O2 and H2 gases. Read more...

Nanoparticle thin films that self assemble

The days of self-assembling nanoparticles taking hours to form a film over a microscopic-sized wafer are over. Researchers led by Ting Xu have devised a technique whereby self-assembling nanoparticle arrays can form a highly ordered thin film over macroscopic distances in one minute. Read more...

Manipulating and detecting ultrahigh frequency sound waves

An advance has been achieved towards next generation ultrasonic imaging with potentially 1,000 times higher resolution than today’s medical ultrasounds. Researchers led by Xiang Zhang have demonstrated a technique for producing, detecting and controlling ultrahigh frequency sound waves at the nanometer scale.  Read more...

Producing hyperpolarized xenon gas on a microfluidic chip

Vikram Bajaj and PhD candidate Daniel Kennedy of Alex Pines' Nuclear Magnetic Resonance research program have developed a technology by which hyperpolarized xenon gas is produced on a microfluidic chip, providing a contrast agent capable of enhanced signal with a small, portable device for use in NMR technology.  Read more...