With a sticky coating and other tricks, materials self-assemble in the lab
L. Brian Stauffer/Univ. of Illinois News Bureau
Qian Chen, 30
University of Illinois
In a darkened room, bathed in the glow of green light, materials scientist Qian Chen watches gold nanorods dance. They wiggle across a computer screen displaying real-time video from a gigantic microscope — a tall, beige tube about as wide as a telephone pole.