News From the Field
'Next-generation' Optical Tweezers Trap Tightly Without Overheating
September 26, 2011
Engineers at Harvard University have created a device that may make it easier to isolate and study tiny particles such as viruses. Their plasmonic nanotweezers, revealed this month in Nature Communications, use light from a laser to trap nanoscale particles. The new device creates strong forces more efficiently than traditional optical tweezers and eliminates a problem that caused earlier setups to overheat.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
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