Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Chemistry professor achieves nanotechnology breakthrough

 Fotios Papadimitrakopoulos, professor of chemistry.
Photo by Daniel Buttrey
Fotios Papadimitrakopoulos, professor of chemistry.
Photo by Daniel Buttrey

Abstract:
A chemistry professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and his graduate students have published new results in Nature Nanotechnology showing how they isolated a particular type of carbon nanotube from a sample and manipulated it in a way that could have broad applicability in drug and gene delivery, electronic devices, and nanotechnology research.

Chemistry professor achieves nanotechnology breakthrough

Storrs, CT | Posted on June 20th, 2008

Fotios Papadimitrakopoulos and his graduate students found a way for a biological molecule, a form of vitamin B2, to wrap around a single-walled carbon nanotube - a tube so small that it has the highest curvature on earth.

Wrapping a carbon nanotube was a difficult achievement and instrumental to their research, since it was a step that eventually enabled them to isolate a particular type of nanotube from a sample that contained 50 different kinds.

Papadimitrakopoulos has spent seven years investigating how to efficiently separate the various nanotubes in a sample into like types.

Nanotubes that are alike can be interlocked to create a material that is extremely strong, even if each nanotube is as small as one micron.

Homogenous nanotubes also have the same electrical and optical properties, and they form a material that is extremely pure.

The research opens the possibility of wrapping nanotubes with proteins or other molecules, which would be useful in a variety of applications.

"We have learned how to manipulate this molecule," says Papadimitrakopoulos.

The lead author of the Nature Nanotechnology paper is Sang-Young Ju, a polymer science Ph.D. candidate in his fifth year of study. Other authors are Jonathan Doll, a fourth-year polymer science Ph.D. student, and Ity Sharma, a second-year chemistry Ph.D. candidate.

Two undergraduates, William Kopcha, CLAS '08, a chemistry major, and Christopher Badalucco, a junior majoring in physiology and neurobiology, also were involved in the research.

The researchers worked with single-walled carbon nanotubes formed from graphene. If you drag a pencil across paper, Papadimitrakopoulos says, you leave thousands of graphene "seeds" behind, a deposit from the friction of the graphite pencil tip against the paper.

At the molecular level, graphene seeds look like a honeycomb. If you form these graphene sheets into a tube, they can become the basis of single-walled carbon nanotubes.

Getting another material to wrap around them was the next challenge.

The researchers discovered that the vitamin B2 molecule stitches itself into a ribbon, using soft hydrogen bonds, and seamlessly wraps itself around the carbon nanotube. The ribbon, in a sense, acted as a detergent, dispersing the oil-loving nanotube in water.

"Nobody has shown this before," says Papadimitrakopoulos.

By introducing a second detergent, they managed to destabilize the ribbon, breaking its hydrogen bonds and leaving the second detergent in its place.
Fotios Papadimitrakopoulos, professor of chemistry.
Fotios Papadimitrakopoulos, professor of chemistry.
Photo by Daniel Buttrey

Varying the concentration of the second detergent allowed them to separate nanotubes that had a given chirality, or pitch.

Identifying carbon nanotubes of like chirality, or pitch, has important implications.

If the chirality is the same, the nanotubes have the potential to interlock themselves in a hexagonal pattern and create an extremely strong material, even if the nanotubes are not very long.

Papadimitrakopoulos says that this is an important step toward minimizing the potential negative health impact of carbon nanotubes, which recently were associated with asbestos-like contamination in the lung linings of laboratory animals.

In that recent study, it was shown that carbon nanotubes larger than 20 microns behaved like asbestos, while those smaller than 20 microns could be cleared out of the lungs, much like pollen.

The carbon nanotubes that his research group works on are far smaller, at approximately one-micron in length.

Carbon nanotubes began to receive widespread attention in 1991, but it is only in the past 10 years or so that research on their applications has heated up.

Nanotubes are small, strong, and special because of their potential for use in drug delivery and electronics applications.

Some have described carbon nanotubes as the reigning celebrities of the advanced materials world. Papadimitrakopoulos describes them as the "Cinderella" molecules of nanotechnology.

Hydrocarbons can be burned and still be used to make strong materials, he notes. Carbon is inexpensive, and carbon nanotubes can transform products, making stronger tennis rackets or bullet-proof vests, for example.

The Air Force, which funds his research, is interested in advanced materials that are light, strong, and can withstand high temperatures, he says. In the future, he predicts, planes will be made from carbon nano-fibers.

Papadimitrakopoulos is a chemistry professor in CLAS, but his work is interdisciplinary, involving physics as well. He also serves as the associate director of the Institute of Materials Science and is a member of the Polymer Program.

Papadimitrakopoulos says his research could not have proceeded without the use of a high resolution transmission electron microscope, which allowed his research group to confirm and verify visually that the B2 molecule was wrapping around the carbon nanotube.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
University of Connecticut
Storrs, CT 06269
(860) 486-2000

Copyright © University of Connecticut

If 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.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Shaping the Future of Nanocrystals: Berkeley Lab Researchers Obtain First Direct Observation of Facet Formation in Nanocubes August 21st, 2014

Hiden Release New Gas Analysis Catalogue August 21st, 2014

Wyatt Technology’s 24th International Light Scattering Colloquium to Highlight Developments in Applications and Characterization of Nanoparticles August 21st, 2014

Water window imaging opportunity: A new theoretical study elucidates mechanisms that could help in producing coherent radiations, ultimately promoting high-contrast imaging of biological samples August 21st, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Shaping the Future of Nanocrystals: Berkeley Lab Researchers Obtain First Direct Observation of Facet Formation in Nanocubes August 21st, 2014

Success in Intracellular Imaging of Cesium Distribution in Plants Used for Cesium Absorption August 19th, 2014

Electrical engineers take major step toward photonic circuits: Team invents non-metallic metamaterial that enables them to 'compress' and contain light August 19th, 2014

Promising Ferroelectric Materials Suffer From Unexpected Electric Polarizations: Brookhaven Lab scientists find surprising locked charge polarizations that impede performance in next-gen materials that could otherwise revolutionize data-driven devices August 18th, 2014

Chip Technology

Electrical engineers take major step toward photonic circuits: Team invents non-metallic metamaterial that enables them to 'compress' and contain light August 19th, 2014

Promising Ferroelectric Materials Suffer From Unexpected Electric Polarizations: Brookhaven Lab scientists find surprising locked charge polarizations that impede performance in next-gen materials that could otherwise revolutionize data-driven devices August 18th, 2014

AI Technology (AIT) Introduces Novel High Temperature Large Area Underfill with Proven Stress Absorption August 15th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Stabilize Protein on Highly Stable Electrode Surface August 14th, 2014

Nanotubes/Buckyballs

Iranian Scientists Stabilize Protein on Highly Stable Electrode Surface August 14th, 2014

SouthWest NanoTechnologies Appoints Matteson-Ridolfi for U.S. Distribution of its SMW™ Specialty Multiwall Carbon Nanotubes August 13th, 2014

Immune cells get cancer-fighting boost from nanomaterials August 13th, 2014

SouthWest NanoTechnologies Inc. Announces $2.7 Million in New Financing to Fund Growth, Plant Expansion and Technical Personnel August 11th, 2014

Nanomedicine

Ultra-short pulse lasers & Positioning August 21st, 2014

Nanotechnology Helps Production of Super Adsorbent Polymers August 21st, 2014

Newly-Developed Nanobiosensor Quickly Diagnoses Cancer August 20th, 2014

Graphene rubber bands could stretch limits of current healthcare, new research finds August 19th, 2014

Nanoelectronics

A*STAR and industry form S$200M semiconductor R&D July 25th, 2014

A Crystal Wedding in the Nanocosmos July 23rd, 2014

3-D nanostructure could benefit nanoelectronics, gas storage: Rice U. researchers predict functional advantages of 3-D boron nitride July 15th, 2014

IBM Announces $3 Billion Research Initiative to Tackle Chip Grand Challenges for Cloud and Big Data Systems: Scientists and engineers to push limits of silicon technology to 7 nanometers and below and create post-silicon future July 10th, 2014

Discoveries

Shaping the Future of Nanocrystals: Berkeley Lab Researchers Obtain First Direct Observation of Facet Formation in Nanocubes August 21st, 2014

Water window imaging opportunity: A new theoretical study elucidates mechanisms that could help in producing coherent radiations, ultimately promoting high-contrast imaging of biological samples August 21st, 2014

Nanotechnology Helps Production of Super Adsorbent Polymers August 21st, 2014

Rice physicist emerges as leader in quantum materials research: Nevidomskyy wins both NSF CAREER Award and Cottrell Scholar Award August 20th, 2014

Announcements

Wyatt Technology’s 24th International Light Scattering Colloquium to Highlight Developments in Applications and Characterization of Nanoparticles August 21st, 2014

Ultra-short pulse lasers & Positioning August 21st, 2014

Malvern’s Dr Alan Rawle talks TLAs in plenary lecture at Particulate Systems Analysis conference August 21st, 2014

Water window imaging opportunity: A new theoretical study elucidates mechanisms that could help in producing coherent radiations, ultimately promoting high-contrast imaging of biological samples August 21st, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE