Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Big step in tiny technology

Abstract:
A crucial step in developing minuscule structures with application potential in sophisticated sensors, catalysis, and nanoelectronics has been developed by Scottish researchers.

Big step in tiny technology

UK | Posted on August 27th, 2008

Dr Manfred Buck and his team at the University of St Andrews have accomplished one of the big quests in nanotechnology, opening up an exciting new development in tiny technology.

The St Andrews researchers have developed a way of forming an easily modified network of molecules over a large area - the chemical technique provides an advantageous alternative to traditional methods which become increasingly cumbersome at the ultrasmall length scale.

The key to the development lies in the creation of robust and versatile surface - self-assembling structures just one molecule thick which can be exploited for further control and manipulation of nanostructures.

Dr Manfred Buck, of the University┐s School of Chemistry, explained, "One of the central issues in nanotechnology is the development of simple and reliable methods to precisely arrange molecules and other nanoscopic objects. One promising route intensively investigated by scientists around the world involves the ability of molecules to spontaneously assemble onto a surface. What we have done is successfully combined two strategies which are complementary but, so far, have been explored independently, and it is this combination which opens up unprecedented opportunities for accessing the ultrasmall length scale."

"The potential of this approach lies in its flexibility on a scale, about 1/10000 of the diameter of a human hair. Using molecules as building units, the features of our structures are less than 5 nanometres in size, which enables us to control structures and materials at dimensions where new properties emerge."

One of the advantages of the technique is that it works under ambient conditions. Since no sophisticated equipment or special environment - such as a high vacuum - is required, it is easily accessible and adaptable for a wide range of applications. The chemical method provides an alternative route to nanostructures created by conventional lithography, which inscribes patterns into surfaces but struggles to be precise on a scale of a few nanometres.

Dr Buck's solution-based chemistry works by assembling molecules into tiny dimples, themselves created when molecules self-assemble into a honeycomb-shaped network on a gold surface. Such a so-called supramolecular network is held together by hydrogen bonds -a type of bonding also essential for DNA - and acts as a template to control the arrangement of other molecules.

He continued, "We are just at the beginning of the exploration of a very exciting new area. Ongoing and future work will investigate changes in the dimensions and geometry of the network, where the aim is to get exact control over the arrangement of molecules, ultimately at the level of single molecules."

"In the short term, this development provides us with an easily accessible platform for fundamental studies of phenomena on the ultrasmall scale," Dr Buck explained.

"In the future, we might be able to use this technology for the assembly of 'nanomachines', molecular devices used to transport and manipulate molecules and nanometer sized objects," he concluded.

The research is published by the journal Nature.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Press Office
University of St Andrews
Postal St Katharine's West
16 The Scores
St Andrews
Fife
KY16 9AX
Scotland, United Kingdom
Tel: Work +44 (0)1334 462529
Work

Dr Buck
44 01334 437232

Copyright © University of St Andrews

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

Remote-control shoots laser at nano-gold to turn on cancer-killing immune cells April 20th, 2018

New qubit now works without breaks: A universal design for superconducting qubits has been created April 19th, 2018

Observing biological nanotransporters: Chemistry April 19th, 2018

Salt boosts creation of 2-D materials: Rice University scientists show how salt lowers reaction temperatures to make novel materials April 18th, 2018

Individual impurity atoms detectable in graphene April 18th, 2018

Chemistry

Salt boosts creation of 2-D materials: Rice University scientists show how salt lowers reaction temperatures to make novel materials April 18th, 2018

Phononic SEIRA -- enhancing light-molecule interactions via crystal lattice vibrations April 10th, 2018

Self Assembly

Tiny nanomachine successfully completes test drive: Researchers at the University of Bonn and the research institute Caesar build a one-wheeled vehicle out of DNA rings April 11th, 2018

Liquid crystal molecules form nano rings: Quantized self-assembly enables design of materials with novel properties February 7th, 2018

Particle size matters for porous building blocks: Rice University scientists find porous nanoparticles get tougher under pressure, but not when assembled December 19th, 2017

Physicists gain new insights into nanosystems with spherical confinement: Enormous potential for the targeted delivery of pharmaceutical agents and the creation of tailored nanoparticles July 27th, 2017

Sensors

Salt boosts creation of 2-D materials: Rice University scientists show how salt lowers reaction temperatures to make novel materials April 18th, 2018

Doing the nano-shimmy: New device modulates light and amplifies tiny signals April 12th, 2018

Scientists Use Nanotechnology to Detect Molecular Biomarker for Osteoarthritis March 13th, 2018

Graphene on toast, anyone? Rice University scientists create patterned graphene onto food, paper, cloth, cardboard February 13th, 2018

Nanoelectronics

New qubit now works without breaks: A universal design for superconducting qubits has been created April 19th, 2018

Non-toxic filamentous virus helps quickly dissipate heat generated by electronic devices April 4th, 2018

Ancient paper art, kirigami, poised to improve smart clothing: New research shows how paper-cutting can make ultra strong, stretchable electronics April 3rd, 2018

Understanding charge transfers in molecular electronics March 30th, 2018

Discoveries

Remote-control shoots laser at nano-gold to turn on cancer-killing immune cells April 20th, 2018

New qubit now works without breaks: A universal design for superconducting qubits has been created April 19th, 2018

Observing biological nanotransporters: Chemistry April 19th, 2018

Salt boosts creation of 2-D materials: Rice University scientists show how salt lowers reaction temperatures to make novel materials April 18th, 2018

Announcements

Remote-control shoots laser at nano-gold to turn on cancer-killing immune cells April 20th, 2018

New qubit now works without breaks: A universal design for superconducting qubits has been created April 19th, 2018

Observing biological nanotransporters: Chemistry April 19th, 2018

Salt boosts creation of 2-D materials: Rice University scientists show how salt lowers reaction temperatures to make novel materials April 18th, 2018

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project