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2017


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Pattern formation and collective effects in populations of magnetic microswimmers

Vach, P. J., (Walker) Schamel, D., Fischer, P., Fratzl, P., Faivre, D.

J. of Phys. D: Appl. Phys., 50(11):11LT03, Febuary 2017 (article)

Abstract
Self-propelled particles are one prototype of synthetic active matter used to understand complex biological processes, such as the coordination of movement in bacterial colonies or schools of fishes. Collective patterns such as clusters were observed for such systems, reproducing features of biological organization. However, one limitation of this model is that the synthetic assemblies are made of identical individuals. Here we introduce an active system based on magnetic particles at colloidal scales. We use identical but also randomly-shaped magnetic micropropellers and show that they exhibit dynamic and reversible pattern formation.

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DOI [BibTex]

2017


DOI [BibTex]


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On-chip enzymatic microbiofuel cell-powered integrated circuits

Mark, A. G., Suraniti, E., Roche, J., Richter, H., Kuhn, A., Mano, N., Fischer, P.

Lab on a Chip, 17(10):1761-1768, Febuary 2017, Recent HOT Article (article)

Abstract
A variety of diagnostic and therapeutic medical technologies rely on long term implantation of an electronic device to monitor or regulate a patient's condition. One proposed approach to powering these devices is to use a biofuel cell to convert the chemical energy from blood nutrients into electrical current to supply the electronics. We present here an enzymatic microbiofuel cell whose electrodes are directly integrated into a digital electronic circuit. Glucose oxidizing and oxygen reducing enzymes are immobilized on microelectrodes of an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) using redox hydrogels to produce an enzymatic biofuel cell, capable of harvesting electrical power from just a single droplet of 5 mM glucose solution. Optimisation of the fuel cell voltage and power to match the requirements of the electronics allow self-powered operation of the on-board digital circuitry. This study represents a step towards implantable self-powered electronic devices that gather their energy from physiological fluids.

Recent HOT Article.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Strong Rotational Anisotropies Affect Nonlinear Chiral Metamaterials

Hooper, D. C., Mark, A. G., Kuppe, C., Collins, J. T., Fischer, P., Valev, V. K.

Advanced Materials, 29(13):1605110, January 2017 (article)

Abstract
Masked by rotational anisotropies, the nonlinear chiroptical response of a metamaterial is initially completely inaccessible. Upon rotating the sample the chiral information emerges. These results highlight the need for a general method to extract the true chiral contributions to the nonlinear optical signal, which would be hugely valuable in the present context of increasingly complex chiral meta/nanomaterials.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Importance of Matching Physical Friction, Hardness, and Texture in Creating Realistic Haptic Virtual Surfaces

Culbertson, H., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 10(1):63-74, January 2017 (article)

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[BibTex]


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Effects of Grip-Force, Contact, and Acceleration Feedback on a Teleoperated Pick-and-Place Task

Khurshid, R. P., Fitter, N. T., Fedalei, E. A., Kuchenbecker, K. J.

IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 10(1):40-53, January 2017 (article)

hi

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Functionalised metal-organic frameworks: a novel approach to stabilising single metal atoms

Szilágyi, P. Á., Rogers, D. M., Zaiser, I., Callini, E., Turner, S., Borgschulte, A., Züttel, A., Geerlings, H., Hirscher, M., Dam, B.

{Journal of Materials Chemistry A}, 5(30):15559-15566, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK, 2017 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Understanding FORC using synthetic micro-structured systems with variable coupling- and coercivefield distributions

Groß, Felix

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2017 (mastersthesis)

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[BibTex]


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Corrosion-protected hybrid nanoparticles

Jeong, H., Alarcón-Correa, M., Mark, A. G., Son, K., Lee, T., Fischer, P.

{Advanced Science}, 4(12), Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2017 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Investigation of the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction and room temperature skyrmions in W/CoFeB/MgO thin films and microwires

Jaiswal, S., Litzius, K., Lemesh, I., Büttner, F., Finizio, S., Raabe, J., Weigand, M., Lee, K., Langer, J., Ocker, B., Jakob, G., Beach, G. S. D., Kläui, M.

{Applied Physics Letters}, 111(2), American Institute of Physics, Melville, NY, 2017 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Ultrafast demagnetization after femtosecond laser pulses: Transfer of angular momentum from the electronic system to magnetoelastic spin-phonon modes

Fähnle, M., Tsatsoulis, T., Illg, C., Haag, M., Müller, B. Y., Zhang, L.

{Journal of Superconductivity and Novel Magnetism}, 30(5):1381-1387, Springer Science + Business Media B.V., New York, 2017 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Magnetic behavior of single chain magnets in metal organic frameworks CPO-27-Co

Son, K., Goering, E., Hirscher, M., Oh, H.

{Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology}, 17(10):7541-7546, American Scientific Publishers, Stevenson Ranch, Calif., 2017 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Switching by domain-wall automotion in asymmetric ferromagnetic rings

Mawass, M., Richter, K., Bisig, A., Reeve, R. M., Krüger, B., Weigand, M., Stoll, H., Krone, A., Kronast, F., Schütz, G., Kläui, M.

{Physical Review Applied}, 7(4), American Physical Society, College Park, Md. [u.a.], 2017 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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A neutral atom moving in an external magnetic field does not feel a Lorentz force

Fähnle, M.

{American Journal of Modern Physics}, 6(6):153-155, Science Publishing Group, New York, NY, 2017 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Adsorption von Wasserstoffmolekülen in nanoporösen Gerüststrukturen

Kotzur, Nadine

Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, 2017 (mastersthesis)

mms

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Temperature-dependent first-order reversal curve measurements on unusually hard magnetic low-temperature phase of MnBi

Muralidhar, S., Gräfe, J., Chen, Y., Etter, M., Gregori, G., Ener, S., Sawatzki, S., Hono, K., Gutfleisch, O., Kronmüller, H., Schütz, G., Goering, E. J.

{Physical Review B}, 95(2), American Physical Society, Woodbury, NY, 2017 (article)

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DOI Project Page [BibTex]

DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Smooth and rapid microwave synthesis of MIL-53(Fe) including superparamagnetic \textlessgamma\textgreater-Fe2O3 nanoparticles

Wengert, S., Albrecht, J., Ruoß, S., Stahl, C., Schütz, G., Schäfer, R.

{Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials}, 444, pages: 168-172, NH, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2017 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Characterization and differentiation of rock varnish types from different environments by microanalytical techniques

Macholdt, D. S., Jochum, K. P., Pöhlker, C., Arangio, A., Förster, J., Stoll, B., Weis, U., Weber, B., Müller, M., Kappl, M., Shiraiwa, M., Kilcoyne, A. L. D., Weigand, M., Scholz, D., Haug, G. H., Al-Amri, A., Andreae, M. O.

{Chemical Geology}, 459, pages: 91-118, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2017 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Skyrmion Hall effect revealed by direct time-resolved X-ray microscopy

Litzius, K., Lemesh, I., Krüger, B., Bassirian, P., Caretta, L., Richter, K., Büttner, F., Sato, K., Tretiakov, O. A., Förster, J., Reeve, R. M., Weigand, M., Bykova, I., Stoll, H., Schütz, G., Beach, G. S. D., Kläui, M.

{Nature Physics}, 13(2):170-175, Nature Pub. Group, London, 2017 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Comment on magnonic black holes

Fähnle, M., Schütz, G.

{Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials}, 444, pages: 146-146, NH, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2017 (article)

mms

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Cr-Substitution in Ba2In2O5 \mbox⋅ (H2O)x (x \textequals 0.16, 0.74)

Yoon, S., Son, K., Hagemann, H., Widenmeyer, M., Weidenkaff, A.

{Solid State Sciences}, 73, pages: 1-6, Elsevier Masson SAS, Paris, 2017 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Exploiting diffusion barrier and chemical affinity of metal-organic frameworks for efficient hydrogen isotope separation

Kim, J. Y., Balderas-Xicohténcatl, R., Zhang, L., Kang, S. G., Hirscher, M., Oh, H., Moon, H. R.

{Journal of the American Chemical Society}, 139(42):15135-15141, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 2017 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Facile fabrication of mesoporous silica micro-jets with multi-functionalities

Vilela, D., Hortelao, A. C., Balderas-Xicohténcatl, R., Hirscher, M., Hahn, K., Ma, X., Sánchez, S.

{Nanoscale}, 9(37):13990-13997, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK, 2017 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Comment on half-integer quantum numbers for the total angular momentum of photons in light beams with finite lateral extensions

Fähnle, M.

{American Journal of Modern Physics}, 6(5):88-90, Science Publishing Group, New York, NY, 2017 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Selective hydrogen isotope separation via breathing transition in MIL-53(Al)

Kim, J. Y., Zhang, L., Balderas-Xicohténcatl, R., Park, J., Hirscher, M., Moon, H. R., Oh, H.

{Journal of the American Chemical Society}, 139(49):17743-17746, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 2017 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Advanced magneto-optical Kerr effect measurements of superconductors at low temperatures

Stahl, C., Gräfe, J., Ruoß, S., Zahn, P., Bayer, J., Simmendinger, J., Schütz, G., Albrecht, J.

{AIP Advances}, 7(10), 2017 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Efficient synthesis for large-scale production and characterization for hydrogen storage of ligand exchanged MOF-74/174/184-M (M\textequalsMg2+, Ni2+)

Oh, H., Maurer, S., Balderas-Xicohténcatl, R., Arnold, L., Magdysyuk, O. V., Schütz, G., Müller, U., Hirscher, M.

{International Journal of Hydrogen Energy}, 42(2):1027-1035, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2017 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Unifying ultrafast demagnetization and intrinsic Gilbert damping in Co/Ni bilayers with electronic relaxation near the Fermi surface

Zhang, W., He, W., Zhang, X.-Q., Cheng, Z.-H., Teng, J., Fähnle, M.

{Physical Review B}, 96(22), American Physical Society, Woodbury, NY, 2017 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Influence of the skin barrier on the penetration of topically-applied dexamethasone probed by soft X-ray spectromicroscopy

Yamamoto, K., Klossek, A., Flesch, R., Rancan, F., Weigand, M., Bykova, I., Bechtel, M., Ahlberg, S., Vogt, A., Blume-Peytavi, U., Schrade, P., Bachmann, S., Hedtrich, S., Schäfer-Korting, M., Rühl, E.

{European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics}, 118, pages: 30-37, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2017 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Capture of heavy hydrogen isotopes in a metal-organic framework with active Cu(I) sites

Weinrauch, I., Savchenko, I., Denysenko, D., Souliou, S. M., Kim, H., Le Tacon, M., Daemen, L. L., Cheng, Y., Mavrandonakis, A., Ramirez-Cuesta, A. J., Volkmer, D., Schütz, G., Hirscher, M., Heine, T.

{Nature Communications}, 8, Nature Publishing Group, London, 2017 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Multiscale simulations of topological transformations in magnetic-skyrmion spin structures

De Lucia, A., Litzius, K., Krüger, B., Tretiakov, O. A., Kläui, M.

{Physical Review B}, 96(2), American Physical Society, Woodbury, NY, 2017 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Unexpectedly marginal effect of electronic correlations on ultrafast demagnetization after femtosecond laser-pulse excitation

Weng, W., Huang, Haonan, Briones Paz, J. Z., Teeny, N., Müller, B. Y., Haag, M., Kuhn, T., Fähnle, M.

{Physical Review B}, 95(22), American Physical Society, Woodbury, NY, 2017 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Black manganese-rich crusts on a Gothic cathedral

Macholdt, D. S., Herrmann, S., Jochum, K. P., Kilcoyne, A. L. D., Laubscher, T., Pfisterer, H. K., Pöhlker, C., Schwager, B., Weber, B., Weigand, M., Domke, K. F., Andreae, M. O.

{Atmospheric Environment}, 171, pages: 205-220, Elsevier, Amsterdam [u.a.], 2017 (article)

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]

2016


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Wireless actuation with functional acoustic surfaces

Qiu, T., Palagi, S., Mark, A. G., Melde, K., Adams, F., Fischer, P.

Appl. Phys. Lett., 109(19):191602, November 2016, APL Editor's pick. APL News. (article)

Abstract
Miniaturization calls for micro-actuators that can be powered wirelessly and addressed individually. Here, we develop functional surfaces consisting of arrays of acoustically resonant microcavities, and we demonstrate their application as two-dimensional wireless actuators. When remotely powered by an acoustic field, the surfaces provide highly directional propulsive forces in fluids through acoustic streaming. A maximal force of similar to 0.45mN is measured on a 4 x 4 mm(2) functional surface. The response of the surfaces with bubbles of different sizes is characterized experimentally. This shows a marked peak around the micro-bubbles' resonance frequency, as estimated by both an analytical model and numerical simulations. The strong frequency dependence can be exploited to address different surfaces with different acoustic frequencies, thus achieving wireless actuation with multiple degrees of freedom. The use of the functional surfaces as wireless ready-to-attach actuators is demonstrated by implementing a wireless and bidirectional miniaturized rotary motor, which is 2.6 x 2.6 x 5 mm(3) in size and generates a stall torque of similar to 0.5 mN.mm. The adoption of micro-structured surfaces as wireless actuators opens new possibilities in the development of miniaturized devices and tools for fluidic environments that are accessible by low intensity ultrasound fields.

pf

link (url) DOI Project Page [BibTex]

2016


link (url) DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Nanomotors

Alarcon-Correa, M., Walker (Schamel), D., Qiu, T., Fischer, P.

Eur. Phys. J.-Special Topics, 225(11-12):2241-2254, November 2016 (article)

Abstract
This minireview discusses whether catalytically active macromolecules and abiotic nanocolloids, that are smaller than motile bacteria, can self-propel. Kinematic reversibility at low Reynolds number demands that self-propelling colloids must break symmetry. Methods that permit the synthesis and fabrication of Janus nanocolloids are therefore briefly surveyed, as well as means that permit the analysis of the nanocolloids' motion. Finally, recent work is reviewed which shows that nanoagents are small enough to penetrate the complex inhomogeneous polymeric network of biological fluids and gels, which exhibit diverse rheological behaviors.

pf

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Structured light enables biomimetic swimming and versatile locomotion of photoresponsive soft microrobots

Palagi, S., Mark, A. G., Reigh, S. Y., Melde, K., Qiu, T., Zeng, H., Parmeggiani, C., Martella, D., Sanchez-Castillo, A., Kapernaum, N., Giesselmann, F., Wiersma, D. S., Lauga, E., Fischer, P.

Nature Materials, 15(6):647–653, November 2016, Max Planck press release, Nature News & Views. (article)

Abstract
Microorganisms move in challenging environments by periodic changes in body shape. In contrast, current artificial microrobots cannot actively deform, exhibiting at best passive bending under external fields. Here, by taking advantage of the wireless, scalable and spatiotemporally selective capabilities that light allows, we show that soft microrobots consisting of photoactive liquid-crystal elastomers can be driven by structured monochromatic light to perform sophisticated biomimetic motions. We realize continuum yet selectively addressable artificial microswimmers that generate travelling-wave motions to self-propel without external forces or torques, as well as microrobots capable of versatile locomotion behaviours on demand. Both theoretical predictions and experimental results confirm that multiple gaits, mimicking either symplectic or antiplectic metachrony of ciliate protozoa, can be achieved with single microswimmers. The principle of using structured light can be extended to other applications that require microscale actuation with sophisticated spatiotemporal coordination for advanced microrobotic technologies.

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Video - Soft photo Micro-Swimmer DOI [BibTex]

Video - Soft photo Micro-Swimmer DOI [BibTex]


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Capture of 2D Microparticle Arrays via a UV-Triggered Thiol-yne “Click” Reaction

Walker (Schamel), D., Singh, D. P., Fischer, P.

Advanced Materials, 28(44):9846-9850, September 2016 (article)

Abstract
Immobilization of colloidal assemblies onto solid supports via a fast UV-triggered click-reaction is achieved. Transient assemblies of microparticles and colloidal materials can be captured and transferred to solid supports. The technique does not require complex reaction conditions, and is compatible with a variety of particle assembly methods.

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DOI [BibTex]


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Magnesium plasmonics for UV applications and chiral sensing

Jeong, H. H., Mark, A. G., Fischer, P.

Chem. Comm., 52(82):12179-12182, September 2016 (article)

Abstract
We demonstrate that chiral magnesium nanoparticles show remarkable plasmonic extinction- and chiroptical-effects in the ultraviolet region. The Mg nanohelices possess an enhanced local surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) sensitivity due to the strong dispersion of most substances in the UV region.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Holograms for acoustics

Melde, K., Mark, A. G., Qiu, T., Fischer, P.

Nature, 537, pages: 518-522, September 2016, Max Planck press release, Nature News & Views, Nature Video. (article)

Abstract
Holographic techniques are fundamental to applications such as volumetric displays(1), high-density data storage and optical tweezers that require spatial control of intricate optical(2) or acoustic fields(3,4) within a three-dimensional volume. The basis of holography is spatial storage of the phase and/or amplitude profile of the desired wavefront(5,6) in a manner that allows that wavefront to be reconstructed by interference when the hologram is illuminated with a suitable coherent source. Modern computer-generated holography(7) skips the process of recording a hologram from a physical scene, and instead calculates the required phase profile before rendering it for reconstruction. In ultrasound applications, the phase profile is typically generated by discrete and independently driven ultrasound sources(3,4,8-12); however, these can only be used in small numbers, which limits the complexity or degrees of freedom that can be attained in the wavefront. Here we introduce monolithic acoustic holograms, which can reconstruct diffraction-limited acoustic pressure fields and thus arbitrary ultrasound beams. We use rapid fabrication to craft the holograms and achieve reconstruction degrees of freedom two orders of magnitude higher than commercial phased array sources. The technique is inexpensive, appropriate for both transmission and reflection elements, and scales well to higher information content, larger aperture size and higher power. The complex three-dimensional pressure and phase distributions produced by these acoustic holograms allow us to demonstrate new approaches to controlled ultrasonic manipulation of solids in water, and of liquids and solids in air. We expect that acoustic holograms will enable new capabilities in beam-steering and the contactless transfer of power, improve medical imaging, and drive new applications of ultrasound.

pf

Video - Holograms for Sound DOI Project Page [BibTex]

Video - Holograms for Sound DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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A loop-gap resonator for chirality-sensitive nuclear magneto-electric resonance (NMER)

Garbacz, P., Fischer, P., Kraemer, S.

J. Chem. Phys., 145(10):104201, September 2016 (article)

Abstract
Direct detection of molecular chirality is practically impossible by methods of standard nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) that is based on interactions involving magnetic-dipole and magnetic-field operators. However, theoretical studies provide a possible direct probe of chirality by exploiting an enantiomer selective additional coupling involving magnetic-dipole, magnetic-field, and electric field operators. This offers a way for direct experimental detection of chirality by nuclear magneto-electric resonance (NMER). This method uses both resonant magnetic and electric radiofrequency (RF) fields. The weakness of the chiral interaction though requires a large electric RF field and a small transverse RF magnetic field over the sample volume, which is a non-trivial constraint. In this study, we present a detailed study of the NMER concept and a possible experimental realization based on a loop-gap resonator. For this original device, the basic principle and numerical studies as well as fabrication and measurements of the frequency dependence of the scattering parameter are reported. By simulating the NMER spin dynamics for our device and taking the F-19 NMER signal of enantiomer-pure 1,1,1-trifluoropropan-2-ol, we predict a chirality induced NMER signal that accounts for 1%-5% of the standard achiral NMR signal. Published by AIP Publishing.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Soft continuous microrobots with multiple intrinsic degrees of freedom

Palagi, S., Mark, A. G., Melde, K., Zeng, H., Parmeggiani, C., Martella, D., Wiersma, D. S., Fischer, P.

In 2016 International Conference on Manipulation, Automation and Robotics at Small Scales (MARSS), pages: 1-5, July 2016 (inproceedings)

Abstract
One of the main challenges in the development of microrobots, i.e. robots at the sub-millimeter scale, is the difficulty of adopting traditional solutions for power, control and, especially, actuation. As a result, most current microrobots are directly manipulated by external fields, and possess only a few passive degrees of freedom (DOFs). We have reported a strategy that enables embodiment, remote powering and control of a large number of DOFs in mobile soft microrobots. These consist of photo-responsive materials, such that the actuation of their soft continuous body can be selectively and dynamically controlled by structured light fields. Here we use finite-element modelling to evaluate the effective number of DOFs that are addressable in our microrobots. We also demonstrate that by this flexible approach different actuation patterns can be obtained, and thus different locomotion performances can be achieved within the very same microrobot. The reported results confirm the versatility of the proposed approach, which allows for easy application-specific optimization and online reconfiguration of the microrobot's behavior. Such versatility will enable advanced applications of robotics and automation at the micro scale.

pf

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Active Nanorheology with Plasmonics

Jeong, H. H., Mark, A. G., Lee, T., Alarcon-Correa, M., Eslami, S., Qiu, T., Gibbs, J. G., Fischer, P.

Nano Letters, 16(8):4887-4894, July 2016 (article)

Abstract
Nanoplasmonic systems are valued for their strong optical response and their small size. Most plasmonic sensors and systems to date have been rigid and passive. However, rendering these structures dynamic opens new possibilities for applications. Here we demonstrate that dynamic plasmonic nanoparticles can be used as mechanical sensors to selectively probe the rheological properties of a fluid in situ at the nanoscale and in microscopic volumes. We fabricate chiral magneto-plasmonic nanocolloids that can be actuated by an external magnetic field, which in turn allows for the direct and fast modulation of their distinct optical response. The method is robust and allows nanorheological measurements with a mechanical sensitivity of similar to 0.1 cP, even in strongly absorbing fluids with an optical density of up to OD similar to 3 (similar to 0.1% light transmittance) and in the presence of scatterers (e.g., 50% v/v red blood cells).

pf

DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]


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Wireless actuator based on ultrasonic bubble streaming

Qiu, T., Palagi, S., Mark, A. G., Melde, K., Fischer, P.

In 2016 International Conference on Manipulation, Automation and Robotics at Small Scales (MARSS), pages: 1-5, July 2016 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Miniaturized actuators are a key element for the manipulation and automation at small scales. Here, we propose a new miniaturized actuator, which consists of an array of micro gas bubbles immersed in a fluid. Under ultrasonic excitation, the oscillation of micro gas bubbles results in acoustic streaming and provides a propulsive force that drives the actuator. The actuator was fabricated by lithography and fluidic streaming was observed under ultrasound excitation. Theoretical modelling and numerical simulations were carried out to show that lowing the surface tension results in a larger amplitude of the bubble oscillation, and thus leads to a higher propulsive force. Experimental results also demonstrate that the propulsive force increases 3.5 times when the surface tension is lowered by adding a surfactant. An actuator with a 4×4 mm 2 surface area provides a driving force of about 0.46 mN, suggesting that it is possible to be used as a wireless actuator for small-scale robots and medical instruments.

pf

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Auxetic Metamaterial Simplifies Soft Robot Design

Mark, A. G., Palagi, S., Qiu, T., Fischer, P.

In 2016 IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), pages: 4951-4956, May 2016 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Soft materials are being adopted in robotics in order to facilitate biomedical applications and in order to achieve simpler and more capable robots. One route to simplification is to design the robot's body using `smart materials' that carry the burden of control and actuation. Metamaterials enable just such rational design of the material properties. Here we present a soft robot that exploits mechanical metamaterials for the intrinsic synchronization of two passive clutches which contact its travel surface. Doing so allows it to move through an enclosed passage with an inchworm motion propelled by a single actuator. Our soft robot consists of two 3D-printed metamaterials that implement auxetic and normal elastic properties. The design, fabrication and characterization of the metamaterials are described. In addition, a working soft robot is presented. Since the synchronization mechanism is a feature of the robot's material body, we believe that the proposed design will enable compliant and robust implementations that scale well with miniaturization.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Towards Photo-Induced Swimming: Actuation of Liquid Crystalline Elastomer in Water

cerretti, G., Martella, D., Zeng, H., Parmeggiani, C., Palagi, S., Mark, A. G., Melde, K., Qiu, T., Fischer, P., Wiersma, D.

In Proc. of SPIE 9738, pages: Laser 3D Manufacturing III, 97380T, April 2016 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Liquid Crystalline Elastomers (LCEs) are very promising smart materials that can be made sensitive to different external stimuli, such as heat, pH, humidity and light, by changing their chemical composition. In this paper we report the implementation of a nematically aligned LCE actuator able to undergo large light-induced deformations. We prove that this property is still present even when the actuator is submerged in fresh water. Thanks to the presence of azo-dye moieties, capable of going through a reversible trans-cis photo-isomerization, and by applying light with two different wavelengths we managed to control the bending of such actuator in the liquid environment. The reported results represent the first step towards swimming microdevices powered by light.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Dispersion and shape engineered plasmonic nanosensors

Jeong, H. H., Mark, A. G., Alarcon-Correa, M., Kim, I., Oswald, P., Lee, T. C., Fischer, P.

Nature Communications, 7, pages: 11331, March 2016 (article)

Abstract
Biosensors based on the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) of individual metallic nanoparticles promise to deliver modular, low-cost sensing with high-detection thresholds. However, they continue to suffer from relatively low sensitivity and figures of merit (FOMs). Herein we introduce the idea of sensitivity enhancement of LSPR sensors through engineering of the material dispersion function. Employing dispersion and shape engineering of chiral nanoparticles leads to remarkable refractive index sensitivities (1,091 nmRIU(-1) at lambda = 921 nm) and FOMs (>2,800 RIU-1). A key feature is that the polarization-dependent extinction of the nanoparticles is now characterized by rich spectral features, including bipolar peaks and nulls, suitable for tracking refractive index changes. This sensing modality offers strong optical contrast even in the presence of highly absorbing media, an important consideration for use in complex biological media with limited transmission. The technique is sensitive to surface-specific binding events which we demonstrate through biotin-avidin surface coupling.

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link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Magnetic Propulsion of Microswimmers with DNA-Based Flagellar Bundles

Maier, A. M., Weig, C., Oswald, P., Frey, E., Fischer, P., Liedl, T.

Nano Letters, 16(2):906-910, January 2016 (article)

Abstract
We show that DNA-based self-assembly can serve as a general and flexible tool to construct artificial flagella of several micrometers in length and only tens of nanometers in diameter. By attaching the DNA flagella to biocompatible magnetic microparticles, we provide a proof of concept demonstration of hybrid structures that, when rotated in an external magnetic field, propel by means of a flagellar bundle, similar to self-propelling peritrichous bacteria. Our theoretical analysis predicts that flagellar bundles that possess a length-dependent bending stiffness should exhibit a superior swimming speed compared to swimmers with a single appendage. The DNA self-assembly method permits the realization of these improved flagellar bundles in good agreement with our quantitative model. DNA flagella with well-controlled shape could fundamentally increase the functionality of fully biocompatible nanorobots and extend the scope and complexity of active materials.

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DOI [BibTex]

DOI [BibTex]