Molecular music: Patterns of vibrations at the quantum level

Hearing of the fire at Notre Dame de Paris a year ago broke my heart. I have only been there once in my life, but that visit is one of my most cherished memories. Before studying chemistry and joining the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology, I earned a music education degree, with a major in voice …

Digging Deep: Celebrating the Gem Beneath Our Feet

Did you know that there are nearly 70,000 different types of soil in the United States?1 With the abundance of natural beauty that we see above the ground, it is easy to overlook all the roles that soil plays in our ecosystem. Soil does much more than simply providing the canvas for green spaces; it …

Turkeys and Photonic Crystals: Lots to Be Thankful For

Did you know that Americans consume a whopping average of 46 million turkeys at Thanksgiving? That’s about 1 turkey for every 7 Americans!1,2 With the colossal number of turkeys consumed during the holidays, it only makes sense that we often think of turkeys as just a food source. But what if I were to tell …

What’s in a scientific publication’s name? One research article title explained

I recently had an article published in the journal Environmental Science: Nano along with seven co-authors from the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology. The title is “Formation of supported lipid bilayers containing phase-segregated domains and their interaction with gold nanoparticles.”1 At first glance that title may be confusing, but I promise it will all make sense …

How Do Nanoparticles Stick to Bacteria? Or, How Are Cell Membranes Like Velcro?

Scientists have known for some time that nanomaterials can stick to cell membranes and, in some cases, damage the membrane in the process. But what exactly do nanomaterials stick to on the cell membrane? A particular type of molecule called lipopolysaccharides (LPS) may provide a key to answering this question.1 Many of us take notice …

Invisibility Cloaks & Tomato Juice – Two Videos About Light & Color

Last month we posted "Light Can Do Way More Than Bend: Part 2," in which we talked about using lasers to create a particular type of metamaterial from gold nanoparticles. One exciting application for metamaterials research is the development of invisibility technology, and now the ACS Reactions team has produced a great little video explaining …

How do different kinds of bacteria interact with different kinds of nanoparticles?

This post is part of our ongoing series of public-friendly summaries describing research articles that have been published by members of the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology. Vivian Feng, a chemistry professor at Augsburg College, is the first author of this paper, which was a collaboration with undergraduate and graduate students as well as other CSN …

How the Fruits Got Their Colors

It’s Sunday night and I am watching one of my favorite shows, which of course revolves around food. In this particular episode, competitors were challenged to incorporate blue into their baked delights without using artificial coloring. That may not seem to be much of a challenge, but there are actually very few naturally occurring blue …