DNA-Functionalized Carbon Nanotube Chemical Sensors

The group of Professor Charlie Johnson has developed chemical sensors using single-walled carbon nanotubes wrapped with single-stranded DNA adsorbed to the nanotube's outer wall.

Blinking Semiconducting Nanorods

Several clusters of semiconducting nanorods are being illuminated by blue light. The nanorods absorb blue light, become excited and emit red light. The emission of light by individual nanorods occurs in a random fashion with the nanorod turning "on" and "off" for variable lengths of time.


Jammed States of Matter

Almost any system composed of discrete pieces large enough that thermal fluctuations can be ignored can have a jamming transition: a point at which fluid flow is impeded by a change of state into a stable amorphous solid.  The behavior is general enough to explain a pile of sand, a jar of candies, or cars in a traffic jam.  Professor Andrea Liu was involved in recent theoretical breakthroughs in the study of this phenomenon.


Kirigami Topology

Professor Randall Kamien studies the physics and mathematics of kirigami — an extension of origami that allows cutting holes into the paper.  By treating the sheet of paper as a two-dimensional crystalline lattice, the folds, cuts, and pleats, can be understood in terms of topological defects in the underlying structure.

Functional Imaging in the Brain

A representation of blood flow changes in a rat brain during cortical spreading depression. In the experiment, a large local concentration of KCl initiates a 'wave' of neuronal depolarization that propagates outward from a central point and then repeats itself.  The figure shows images of blood flow in four parallel planes located within 3 millimeters of the skull.