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

Iran to Hold 3rd Int'l Engineering Materials, Metallurgy Conference October 25th, 2014

Haydale Secures Exclusive Development and Supply Agreement with Tantec A/S: New reactors to be built and commissioned by Tantec A/S represent another step forward towards the commercialisation of graphene October 24th, 2014

QuantumWise guides the semiconductor industry towards the atomic scale October 24th, 2014

SUNY Polytechnic Institute Invites the Public to Attend its Popular Statewide 'NANOvember' Series of Outreach and Educational Events October 23rd, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Novel Rocket Design Flight Tested: New Rocket Propellant and Motor Design Offers High Performance and Safety October 23rd, 2014

Strengthening thin-film bonds with ultrafast data collection October 23rd, 2014

Brookhaven Lab Launches Computational Science Initiative:Leveraging computational science expertise and investments across the Laboratory to tackle "big data" challenges October 22nd, 2014

Bipolar Disorder Discovery at the Nano Level: Tiny structures found in brain synapses help scientists better understand disorder October 22nd, 2014

Chip Technology

QuantumWise guides the semiconductor industry towards the atomic scale October 24th, 2014

Strengthening thin-film bonds with ultrafast data collection October 23rd, 2014

NIST offers electronics industry 2 ways to snoop on self-organizing molecules October 22nd, 2014

Materials for the next generation of electronics and photovoltaics: MacArthur Fellow develops new uses for carbon nanotubes October 21st, 2014

Nanotubes/Buckyballs

Materials for the next generation of electronics and photovoltaics: MacArthur Fellow develops new uses for carbon nanotubes October 21st, 2014

Special UO microscope captures defects in nanotubes: University of Oregon chemists provide a detailed view of traps that disrupt energy flow, possibly pointing toward improved charge-carrying devices October 21st, 2014

Imaging electric charge propagating along microbial nanowires October 20th, 2014

Beyond LEDs: Brighter, new energy-saving flat panel lights based on carbon nanotubes - Planar light source using a phosphor screen with highly crystalline single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) as field emitters demonstrates its potential for energy-efficient lighting device October 14th, 2014

Nanomedicine

NYU Researchers Break Nano Barrier to Engineer the First Protein Microfiber October 23rd, 2014

Iranian Scientists Apply Nanotechnology to Produce Surgery Suture October 23rd, 2014

RF Heating of Magnetic Nanoparticles Improves the Thawing of Cryopreserved Biomaterials October 23rd, 2014

Sopping up proteins with thermosponges: Researchers develop novel nanoparticle platform that proves effective in delivering protein-based drugs October 22nd, 2014

Nanoelectronics

NIST offers electronics industry 2 ways to snoop on self-organizing molecules October 22nd, 2014

Materials for the next generation of electronics and photovoltaics: MacArthur Fellow develops new uses for carbon nanotubes October 21st, 2014

Crystallizing the DNA nanotechnology dream: Scientists have designed the first large DNA crystals with precisely prescribed depths and complex 3D features, which could create revolutionary nanodevices October 20th, 2014

Imaging electric charge propagating along microbial nanowires October 20th, 2014

Discoveries

QuantumWise guides the semiconductor industry towards the atomic scale October 24th, 2014

Iranian, Malaysian Scientists Study Nanophotocatalysts for Water Purification October 23rd, 2014

Nanoparticle technology triples the production of biogas October 23rd, 2014

Strengthening thin-film bonds with ultrafast data collection October 23rd, 2014

Announcements

Iran to Hold 3rd Int'l Engineering Materials, Metallurgy Conference October 25th, 2014

Haydale Secures Exclusive Development and Supply Agreement with Tantec A/S: New reactors to be built and commissioned by Tantec A/S represent another step forward towards the commercialisation of graphene October 24th, 2014

QuantumWise guides the semiconductor industry towards the atomic scale October 24th, 2014

Strengthening thin-film bonds with ultrafast data collection October 23rd, 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