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Home > News > Computer-aided nanoparticle synthesis

October 5th, 2007

Computer-aided nanoparticle synthesis

Fed up with having to optimise your own reactions? Ever wondered why you can't get a computer to do it for you? Thanks to researchers from the UK, this possibility is not as far away as you may think.

Nanoparticles are finding uses in all manner of interesting applications from photonics to bioanalysis, but to be able to exploit them properly, it is essential to be able to carefully control their properties.

John deMello and colleagues from Imperial College London set about designing a microfluidic system that would automatically optimise the emission wavelength of fluorescent nanoparticles. 'A spectrometer monitors the particles as they exit the microfluidic chip. The spectra are fed to a computer which assigns a "dissatisfaction coefficient" to the particles depending on how far they are from some pre-set goal. The computer repeatedly updates the reaction conditions to minimise this coefficient and in so doing forces the chip to produce particles with the desired properties,' said deMello.


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