How do we measure the size of nanoparticles in a solution?

The size of the materials in nanotechnology is one of the most important factors that power and define the properties of the nanomaterials. But there are many different techniques for measuring that size, and depending on the measurement methods, the results may vary! It doesn’t mean the actual lengths or diameters of the materials change: …

Light Can Do Way More Than Bend: Part 2

For the first post that I wrote for the blog 2 years ago, I discussed some of the cool things that focused, high intensity light from a laser can do. For example, under the right circumstances laser light can change color (wavelength) when passing through certain materials. We use this cool phenomenon, called frequency doubling, …

Scientists work to prevent a nano-crisis

This post is written by Anna Bisaro and originally appeared on Medill Reports, a project of Northwestern University graduate journalism students. Sustainability. The magic word that rings with the promises of a better world and cost savings. People want to create clean energy, recycle wastes and eat locally-grown food, all in the quest for sustainability. …

Fluorescent Nanodiamonds – the movie!

Nanodiamonds are far too small to be seen by the naked eye, but everything changes if you make them glow! We at the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology have developed a new way to make nanodiamonds absorb and then release light—a property known as fluorescence (see this explainer post). I just made these fluorescent nanodiamonds and …

“How do Lasers Work?” or “Not your father’s lightsaber”

When Luke Skywalker receives his father’s lightsaber from Obi Wan in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, he learns that it is “not as random or clumsy as a blaster; an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.” Here at our Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology, we don’t work with weapons, no matter how sophisticated …