Everyone who has ever been to the Grand Canyon can relate to having strong feelings from being close to one of nature's edges. Similarly, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have discovered that nanoparticles of gold act unusually when close to the edge of a one-atom thick sheet of carbon, called graphene. This could have big implications for the development of new sensors and quantum devices.
This discovery was made possible with a newly established ultrafast electron microscope (UEM) at Argonne's Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), a DOE Office of Science User Facility. The UEM enables the visualization and investigation of phenomena at the nanoscale and on time frames of less than a trillionth of a second. This discovery could make a splash in the growing field of plasmonics, which involves light striking a material surface and triggering waves of electrons, known as plasmonic fields.
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