Using the tools of physics and design principles, AMOLF researchers study complex matter, such as light at the nanoscale, living matter, designer matter and nanoscale solar cells. These insights open up opportunities to create new functional materials and to find solutions to societal challenges.
Researchers discover new mechanism for the coexistence of species
Researchers from AMOLF and Harvard University (USA) show how the ability of organisms to move around plays a role in stabilizing ecosystems. In their paper published 19 February 2020 in Nature, they describe how the competition between ‘movers’ and ‘growers’ leads to a balance in which both types of bacteria can continue to exist alongside each other.
Vibrations on a chip feel a magnetic field
Using light to couple the strings of a nanoscopic guitar
AMOLF physicists have made mechanical vibrations on a chip behave as if they were electrical currents flowing in a magnetic field. Because of their charge, electrons are influenced by magnetic fields, which curve their trajectories. Sound waves or more precisely the propagating mechanical vibrations don’t feel a magnetic field, because they don’t carry charge. By illuminating strings with laser light the researchers have found a way to make mechanical vibrations hop from one nanoscale string to another. Thus, these vibrations behave like electrons in a magnetic field. This unlocks new ways to manipulate sound waves and the information they can carry on chips.