Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Nanoscopic static electricity generates chiral patterns

Abstract:
In the tiny world of amino acids and proteins and in the helical shape of DNA, a biological phenomenon abounds.

These objects are all chiral — they cannot exactly superimpose their mirror image by translation or rotation. A common example of this is human hands — a right hand cannot superimpose itself into its mirror image, a left hand. This description of a molecule's symmetry (or lack thereof) is important in determining the molecule's properties in chemistry.

Nanoscopic static electricity generates chiral patterns

Chicago, IL | Posted on February 3rd, 2009

But while scientists and engineers know that at the sub-atomic level weak forces are chiral, how these electrostatic forces can generate a chiral world is still a mystery.

Researchers at Northwestern University in the group of Monica Olvera de la Cruz, professor of materials science and engineering and chemical and biological engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, have recently shown how electrostatic interactions — commonly known as static electricity — alone can give rise to helical shapes. The group has constructed a mathematical model that can capture all possible regular shapes chiral objects could have, and they computed the preferred arrangements induced by electrostatic interactions.

Their work will be published as the cover story in the journal Soft Matter and is published online.

"In this way we are simply letting nature tell us how it would like to be, and we generalize it to many different systems," Olvera de la Cruz says." She and her colleagues report that chirality can only spontaneously arise as a consequence of electrostatic interactions and does not require the presence of other more complicated interactions, like dipolar or short-range van der Waals interactions.

Their model also describes arrangement of DNA mixed with carbon nanotubes. DNA has been shown to form helices around nanotubes, thereby separating the different types of carbon nanotubes into families.

The research findings concur with previous research using microscopy.

"From our predicted helical shapes of DNA wrapped around carbon nanotubes, we found amazing correspondence to those that were recently measured by atomic force microscopy," Olvera de le Cruz says.

The work shows that electrostatics is a pathway for understanding how nature generates helical symmetries. Researchers hope that future work can show how to use simple interactions to generate other symmetries that drive complex phenomena.

The research was done in the department of materials science and engineering. Graziano Vernizzi, research assistant professor, and Kevin Kohlstedt, graduate student, co-authored the paper.

The work was supported by the Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship and the National Science Foundation.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Kyle Delaney

847-467-4010

Copyright © Northwestern University

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

Small but heading for the big time: Nanobiotix half year results for the six months ended 30 June 2015, in line with expectations: Major clinical achievements and corporate developments August 28th, 2015

A new technique to make drugs more soluble August 28th, 2015

Nanocatalysts improve processes for the petrochemical industry August 28th, 2015

Chemistry

A new technique to make drugs more soluble August 28th, 2015

Nanocatalysts improve processes for the petrochemical industry August 28th, 2015

Biomimetics

IEEE ROBIO 2015 Call for Papers: 2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics - December 6-9, 2015, Zhuhai, China July 19th, 2015

Biomimetic dew harvesters: Understanding how a desert beetle harvests water from dew could improve drinking water collection in dew condensers December 8th, 2014

Peptoid Nanosheets at the Oil/Water Interface: Berkeley Lab Reports New Route to Novel Family of Biomimetic Materials September 3rd, 2014

Nanoscaled Tip Writes Artificial Cell Membranes: Biomimetic Membranes on Graphene Open up Novel Applications in Biotechnology – Publication in “Nature Communications“ October 15th, 2013

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

These microscopic fish are 3-D-printed to do more than swim: Researchers demonstrate a novel method to build microscopic robots with complex shapes and functionalities August 26th, 2015

Glitter from silver lights up Alzheimer's dark secrets August 25th, 2015

Southampton scientists find new way to detect ortho-para conversion in water August 25th, 2015

Industrial Nanotech, Inc. Provides Update On Hospital Project, PCAOB Audit, and New Heat Shield™ Line August 24th, 2015

Discoveries

A new technique to make drugs more soluble August 28th, 2015

Nanocatalysts improve processes for the petrochemical industry August 28th, 2015

CWRU researchers efficiently charge a lithium-ion battery with solar cell: Coupling with perovskite solar cell holds potential for cleaner cars and more August 27th, 2015

Successful boron-doping of graphene nanoribbon August 27th, 2015

Announcements

Small but heading for the big time: Nanobiotix half year results for the six months ended 30 June 2015, in line with expectations: Major clinical achievements and corporate developments August 28th, 2015

A new technique to make drugs more soluble August 28th, 2015

Nanocatalysts improve processes for the petrochemical industry August 28th, 2015

Nanolab Technologies LEAPS Forward with High-Performance Analysis Services to the World: Nanolab Orders Advanced Local Electrode Atom Probe (LEAP®) Microscope from CAMECA Unit of AMETEK Materials Analysis Division August 27th, 2015

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







Car Brands
Buy website traffic