Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

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

Tissue regeneration using anti-inflammatory nanomolecules August 22nd, 2014

A breakthrough in imaging gold nanoparticles to atomic resolution by electron microscopy August 22nd, 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

Chemistry

Production of Toxic Ion Nanosorbents with High Sorption Capacity in Iran August 17th, 2014

Scientists fold RNA origami from a single strand: RNA origami is a new method for organizing molecules on the nanoscale. Using just a single strand of RNA, this technique can produce many complicated shapes. August 14th, 2014

Could hemp nanosheets topple graphene for making the ideal supercapacitor? August 12th, 2014

Iranians Find Novel Method for Processing Highly Pure Ceramic Nanoparticles August 12th, 2014

Biomimetics

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

2539 visits at NANOPOSTER 2013 - Summary of 3rd Virtual Nanotechnology Poster Conference September 17th, 2013

Unique shell design gives guillemot eggs an edge for living on the edge July 5th, 2013

The nanomechanical signature of breast cancer: Differences in tissue stiffness have potential to aid in diagnosis, therapy February 2nd, 2013

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

Discoveries

Tissue regeneration using anti-inflammatory nanomolecules August 22nd, 2014

A breakthrough in imaging gold nanoparticles to atomic resolution by electron microscopy August 22nd, 2014

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

Announcements

Tissue regeneration using anti-inflammatory nanomolecules August 22nd, 2014

A breakthrough in imaging gold nanoparticles to atomic resolution by electron microscopy August 22nd, 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