Lets take a single layer of MoS2. Lets attach it to a surface in such a way that it can be stretched (or compressed) and there you have it: A strain tunable single-layer MoS2 photodetector. A device which uses strain to change the electrical and optical properties of 2D materials. In particular they’ve proven that with this method, they can reversibly change the photoresponsivity, the response time and the spectral bandwidth of single layered MoS2.
At Dr. Castellanos Lab, they are excelling at beautiful and elegant research. “… we demonstrated that applying tensile biaxial strain to the MoS2 device can be an effective strategy to increase both the responsivity and the wavelength bandwidth of the photodetector (at the expense of a slower response time), while compressive strain can be exploited to yield faster photodetectors (although with a lower photoresponse and with a narrower wavelength bandwidth). This adaptable optoelectronic performance of this device can be very useful to adjust the photodetector operation to different lighting conditions, similarly to human eye adaptability (scotopic vision during the night vs. photopic vision during the daylight).”
Condensed matter physics is a big unknown, even for 2nd year physics students, let alone theoretical condensed matter physics. And funny enough, this branch of physics covers a huge percentage of the reality around us. It covers quantum physics, biophysics, fluids, materials, optics and acoustics, or low temperatures, just to name a few of its interests. Yet, few people know about it.
At the Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics department, at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid are actively trying to fill this gap. They’ve made a video to inform and try to bring closer students and young people to this beautiful and amazing area of science. And Scixel happened to be around.
We’ve spend a great time working with them, discussing and creating this piece. Hope you like it and pay them a visit!
We already talked about the project NANOCOSMOS in this website. This is a huge ERC funded project directed by Prof. José Cernicharo which has put together research groups from Spain and France. The researchers working in this project are trying to “unveil the physical and chemical conditions in the dust formation zone of evolved stars.”
A year ago, Natalia Ruiz Zelmanovitch (Public Information Officer of the project), approached me to create a short documentary explaining the aims of this research. Now, a year later, its been made public. Scixel worked both in the animations and the music. Hope you enjoy this piece as much as we enjoyed making it.
Apart from the pleasure that is to work with Natalia, the intrinsic beauty of this research, made this collaboration a big moment of Scixel’s short history.
Our story with Basel University and in particular with Prof. Thomas Jung, goes back a long way. They are not only really nice people. They always come to me with amazingly beautiful pieces of research.
This time, Prof. Jung, together with Aisha Ahsan, have reported a new method that allows to change the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network. Their efforts are focused in the manipulation of tiny molecules. The smaller the better. Why? Because this systems are perfect candidates for data storage. And the smaller the bits (molecules), the less energy it will take to modify them.
We did this picture to illustrate their research and also an animation that appeared in the video abstract of the paper.
About 4 years ago Prof. Jose Ángel Martín Gago approached me to talk me about the NANOCOSMOS project. As they explain in their website, “NANOCOSMOS will take advantage of the new observational capabilities (increased angular resolution) of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to unveil the physical and chemical conditions in the dust formation zone of evolved stars”. Simply put, they are studying the debris stars create and the role this dust plays in the life/death recycling story of the universe.
This is a huge ERC funded project directed by Prof. José Cernicharo which has put together research groups from Spain and France.
And this is where Natalia Ruiz Zelmanovitch (Public Information Officer of the project) appears. She happens to be the most-committed-with-outreach-and-dissemination-of-science I’ve ever met. And she wants to tell the story of the NANOCOSMOS project. And she wants to tell it right.
She is behind the production of “NANOCOSMOS: un viaje a lo pequeño.” Here you can watch the trailer:
Scixel has been in charge of the 3D visualizations of the space: stars, nebulae, galaxies and planetary systems. We have been working with the Nanocosmos people for a few years now and I can tell you, if I know Natalia enough, this is just the beginning. So, stay tunned!
Eukariotic cells face a hard to picture space problem: to pack a 2 meter long molecule into a 6 microns in diameter sphere. Not only that, the cell must be able to pack and unpack this DNA locally in order to perform its functions.
A protein called Condensin has been long known to be related to the DNA packing process, but until last year, the way this protein worked was still a mystery. Prof. Cees Dekker has directed the research that has unveiled this secret. For us, non biologist it is hard to understand how important this is and its repercussion, but the fact that it has been published in Science gives us a hint. This work is a collaboration between TuDelft (Netherlands) and EMBL (Germany).
Thanks to this research we know now how Condensin traps the DNA and uses its ring to drag the DNA forming a loop. Together with the people of TuDeflt we made this video explaining the motor function of this protein.
We are particularly proud of the music piece… hope its epicity expresses both the importance of the finding and the pride we’ve felt when they let us participate in the project.