Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE)

Features and Innovations

Turning up the heat on hydrogels

04 February 15

Researchers at A*STAR have developed temperature-sensitive gels that can be used for a wide range of biomedical and cosmetic applications

Fantastic plastic

20 June 12

Drawing their inspiration from nature, A*STAR researchers develop a brand new type of anti-reflective plastic

Research Highlights

Photonics: Getting into the groove 

08 June 18

Light focused into nano-grooves in a gold film bonded to an atomically thin crystal flake produces a remarkable frequency doubling effect

Plasmonics: A polarizing view

24 June 15

A nanostructure design enables pixels to produce two different colors depending on the polarization of the incident light

Sensors: Sounding out flu viruses

27 May 15

A biosensor capable of sensitively detecting influenza viruses has potential for improving clinical diagnosis of Influenza A

Nanoparticles: Alcohol-free zone

04 February 15

Noble metal nanoparticles can be coated with silica by a simple, environmentally friendly process that does not employ alcohol

Nanoplasmonics: Making a tiny rainbow

21 January 15

By varying the size and spacing of aluminum nanodisks, researchers generate images that contain over 300 colors and are not much wider than a human hair

Cancer: Lighting up tumors

19 November 14

A fluorescent nanoprobe could become a universal, noninvasive method to identify and monitor tumors

Chemical detection: A purer solution

10 September 14

A separation method that isolates protein-protected gold clusters enables improved sensing of toxic mercury compounds and pesticides

Materials: Getting smarter with water

20 November 13

Understanding how hydration affects color-changing windows that optimize solar energy transmission can boost their efficiency and durability

Materials: Two ways to tame a radical

24 April 13

Trapping free electrons with polycyclic aromatic molecules creates materials with enhanced optical, electronic and magnetic properties

Bioimaging: Aim for the stars

24 October 12

Glucose–amine rings turn star-shaped fluorescent dyes into powerful probes for imaging cancer cells in three dimensions

Electronics: Visible progress

10 October 12

A thin film made of graphene and a charge-inducing polymer shows promise as a replacement for transparent electrical conductors in displays

Optical materials: Holey gold

06 June 12

Imaging nanoporous metals with beams of electrons provides deep insights into the unusual optical properties of these materials

Electronics: A perfect vision

11 April 12

A low-temperature method could be used to ‘grow’ transparent zinc oxide films for use in displays and solar cells

Solar cells: A clear choice

14 March 12

Dye-sensitized solar cells that use carbon nanotube thin films as transparent electrodes offer significant cost savings

Data storage: Bit by bit

01 February 12

A fabrication method that does not require etching and pattern transfer pushes recording densities in bit-patterned media to 3.3 terabits per square inch

Biomaterials: Nestled in

28 September 11

Multi-compartment globular structures assembled from polymer-based materials may soon serve as cell prototypes

Plasmonics: A closer look

20 July 11

The combination of transmission electron microscopy and electron energy-loss spectroscopy allows for the study of surface plasmon resonance in nanostructures

Bioimaging: Core targets

16 February 11

A tiny silicon–oxygen-based polyhedron enters cellular nuclei to light them up selectively

Photonics: The full spectrum

08 December 10

The successful growth of high-quality indium nitride thin films makes it possible to produce nitride-based light-emitting diodes with a full visible emission spectrum

Plasmonics: Smooth operator

24 November 10

Ultrasmooth silver surfaces promise invisibility cloaks, ultrahigh-resolution lenses and other enhanced photonic devices

Solar cells: Cut-rate chemistry

18 August 10

Replacing expensive components of solar cells with small, electronically active molecules may reduce manufacturing costs

Biomaterials: Smooth delivery

23 June 10

Attaching a water-soluble polymer layer to nanometer-sized silica spheres improves their mobility, facilitating drug delivery in the body

Plasmonics: Timely forecasting

09 June 10

Predicting the precise shape of metal nanostructures evaporated on an array of spheres is now possible using a mathematical algorithm