New plasmonic sensor improves early cancer detection

A new plasmonic sensor developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will serve as a reliable early detection of biomarkers for many forms of cancer and eventually other diseases.  The sensor has been proven reliable to detect the presence of the cancer biomarker carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) to the magnitude of 1 nanogram … Read more

Researchers create first significant examples of optical crystallography for nanomaterials

Nanocrystals have diverse applications spanning biomedical imaging, light-emitting devices, and consumer electronics. Their unique optical properties result from the type of crystal from which they are composed. However, a major bottleneck in the development of nanocrystals, to date, is the need for X-ray techniques to determine the crystal type. Researchers at the University of Illinois … Read more

New understanding of superconductor’s ‘normal’ state may open the way to solving longstanding puzzle

Since the discovery two decades ago of the unconventional topological superconductor Sr2RuO4, scientists have extensively investigated its properties at temperatures below its 1°K critical temperature (Tc), at which a phase transition from a metal to superconducting state occurs. Now experiments done at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Madhavan and Abbamonte laboratories, in … Read more

Experiments show that a few self-driving cars can dramatically improve traffic flow

The presence of just a few autonomous vehicles can eliminate the stop-and-go driving of the human drivers in traffic, along with the accident risk and fuel inefficiency it causes, according to new research. The finding indicates that self-driving cars and related technology may be even closer to revolutionizing traffic control than previously thought. “Our experiments … Read more

Achieving near-perfect optical isolation using opto-mechanical transparency

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated a new level of optical isolation necessary to advance on-chip optical signal processing. The technique involving light-sound interaction can be implemented in nearly any photonic foundry process and can significantly impact optical computing and communication systems. “Low-loss optical isolators are critical components for signal routing … Read more

Researchers at Illinois gain insights to redirect leading HIV cure strategy

Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has provided the first evidence that viruses and hosts share highly similar regulatory sequences in their promoters—the initiation sequences of human genes that code for functional proteins. “To date viral-host networks include protein and mRNA interactions between viruses and their hosts at later stages of gene expression, … Read more

First-ever direct observation of chiral currents in quantum Hall atomic simulation

Using an atomic quantum simulator, scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have achieved the first-ever direct observation of chiral currents in the model topological insulator, the 2-D integer quantum Hall system. Topological Insulators (TIs) are arguably the most promising class of materials discovered in recent years, with many potential applications theorized. That’s because … Read more

Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics. “The structural robustness of … Read more

The Inverse Faraday Effect, Laser Light and Magnetization of Metals: Addressing Fundamental Limits of Ultrafast Devices

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Korean Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) have uncovered physical mechanisms that enable laser light to alter the magnetization of a metal. “In our study, we illuminate thin layers of the cobalt, iron or nickel with pulses of laser light that have a duration of … Read more