- About Us
- Career Center
- Nano-Social Network
- Nano Consulting
- My Account
Bigger may be better, but tinier is stronger. So say scientists at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, who have shown that tiny polymer nanofibers become much stronger when their diameters shrink below a certain size. Their research could make possible stronger fabrics that use less material.
Bigger may be better, but tinier is stronger. So say scientists at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, who have shown that tiny polymer nanofibers become much stronger when their diameters shrink below a certain size. Their research, published in the January issue of Nature Nanotechnology, could make possible stronger fabrics that use less material.
Professor Eyal Zussman and Dr. Oleg Gendelman of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering are the first to propose an explanation for this surprising behavior in very thin fibers.
When the researchers measured the mechanical properties of nylon nanofibers, they found the critical diameter - the diameter at which the nylon nanofiber abruptly becomes stiffer—to be approximately 500 nanometers (about as thick as a spider web strand, or 100 times thinner than a human hair). They explained the abrupt increase in stiffness by considering the molecular structure inside the polymer fiber.
According to Zussman, each polymer nanofiber is made up of countless large, complex molecules called macromolecules. Macromolecules try to align themselves when the fiber is forming, but since they are so long and tangled, it is impossible for them to sort themselves out and align uniformly throughout the entire nanofiber. As a result, the nanofiber is a patchwork of differently oriented macromolecule regions. The researchers calculated the size of these regions to be roughly the same as the critical diameter of the nanofiber (the diameter at which the fiber stiffness abruptly increases).
"When the diameter of the fiber is much larger than the size of the oriented regions, the macromolecules can move relative to one another," says Zussman. "But as the diameter of the fiber shrinks, these oriented regions become constrained and the macromolecules are unable to easily move relative to one another. So they become stuck against each other like cars in a traffic jam, and the resulting nanofiber is much stiffer."
Although Professor Zussman and his colleagues focused on a certain type of nanofiber, they say their basic physical idea will help scientists understand the novel physical properties of a wide range of nanofibers and other nanostructures. Practical applications include lighter protective vests and stronger fabrics.
Also participating in the research, which is part of activities of the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute at the Technion, were Dr. Arkadii Arinstein and graduate student Michael Burman.
About American Technion Society
Based in New York City, the American Technion Society is the leading American organization supporting higher education in Israel, with 17 offices around the country.
The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is Israel's leading science and technology university. Home to the country’s winners of the Nobel Prize in science, it commands a worldwide reputation for its pioneering work in nanotechnology, computer science, biotechnology, water-resource management, materials engineering, aerospace and medicine. The majority of the founders and managers of Israel's high-tech companies are alumni.
For more information, please click here
Copyright © NewswiseIf you have a comment, please Contact us.
Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
|Related News Press|
CEA-Leti to Share Insights into Post-7-nanometer Technologies At Workshop Prior to IEDM in Washington, D.C.: Research Includes CMOS Device Architectures, New Materials and Computing System Paradigms December 1st, 2015
'Material universe' yields surprising new particle November 28th, 2015
Nanoparticles Boost Impact Resistance of Special Type of Polymer November 28th, 2015
Navy researchers recruit luminescent nanoparticles to image brain function November 19th, 2015
Special Nanoparticles Increase Durability of Self-Cleaning Properties of Fabrics November 12th, 2015
Carbon Nanotubes Applied to Create Electrical Conductivity in Woolen Fabrics September 30th, 2015
Scientists Apply Graphene Quantum Dots in Production of Azo Dyes September 26th, 2015
Omni Nano and Time Warner Cable Partner to Provide Nanotechnology Education to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Los Angeles: A $10,000 Donation to Benefit Youth of Los Angeles County's Boys & Girls Clubs August 4th, 2015
Kalam: versatility personified August 1st, 2015