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Going nano: big innovations at small scales

Close-up of molybdenum disulph after it was placed in a diamond anvil cell with electrical currents


At The University of Texas at Austin, researchers are applying nanotechnology to develop new uses for molybdenum disulphide (MoS2), a compound used as a lubricant and in petroleum refining. This computer-generated image shows a close-up view of MoS2 after it was placed in a diamond anvil cell with electrical currents to see if it could create a new material. Running electric leads through the structure, researchers can trigger electronic transitions and manipulate the mechanical, electrical and optical properties of this innovative-layered nanomaterial. The image has been rendered with the perspective of one of the atoms inside the environment. The complex structure of the stacked assembly is visible in the highly reflective surface of the molecules.

Scientists are looking to nanotechnology for the next big breakthroughs. Nanotechnology offers enormous, new opportunities for innovation in materials science, electronics, medicine and more. Computational resources are critical to advancing this burgeoning field.

The visualization was produced using the Texas Advanced Supercomputing Center's (TACC) Stampede computing system. Stampede is funded by the National Science Foundation through award ACI 11-34872.

This research was published in Nature Communications in May 2014: Pressure-induced semiconducting to metallic transition in multilayered molybdenum disulphide. (Date of Image: 2013-2014)

Credit: Visualization Interfaces and Applications: Joanna K. Wozniak, Texas Advanced Computing Center, The University of Texas (UT) at Austin; Research Team: Avinash P. Nayak, UT at Austin, Swastibrata Bhattacharyya, Indian Institute of Science, Jie Zhu, UT at Austin, Jin Liu, UT at Austin, Xiang Wu, UT at Austin, Tribhuwan Pandey, Indian Institute of Science, Changqing Jin, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Abhishek K. Singh, Indian Institute of Science, Deji Akinwande, UT at Austin, Jung-Fu Lin, UT at Austin
 
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