Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Chemists announce nanotech breakthrough

Abstract:
Imagine you are looking through a very high-powered microscope at the smallest tube in the world - a single-walled carbon nanotube so tiny that a million can fit on the head of a pin.

Chemists announce nanotech breakthrough

Storrs, CT | Posted on April 1st, 2009

Imagine too that the exterior of the tube is covered in small irregular bumps caused by oxygen molecules that cling to the outside like barnacles on a pier. Now imagine trying to slide something - a slightly larger tube perhaps - over the bumpy tube to smooth out the surface.

In this molecular, microscopic world, it isn't easy; a near impossibility, in fact, that has proven a barrier to scientists for years.

But now, chemistry professor Fotios Papadimitrakopoulos and a team of researchers in the Nanomaterials Optoelectronics Laboratory at the Institute of Materials Science have found a way to smooth the surface of nanotubes, in what Papadimitrakopoulos describes as a major nanotechnology breakthrough that could have significant applications in medical imaging and other areas.

By developing a process in which a chemical ‘sleeve' tightly wraps itself around the nanotube, Papadimitrakopoulos managed to not only create a smooth new surface on the nanotube but also to ‘clean' its underlying exterior of defects in a way that has never been accomplished before.

Carbon nanotubes have traditionally been very poor emitters of light because of their bumpy exterior defects and have therefore been limited in some of their technological and medical applications.

As a result of the newly discovered wrapping process, Papadimitrakopoulos managed to increase the luminescence efficiency - the light emitting capability - of the nanotube 40-fold.

That increased luminescence, he says, opens the way for broad new advancements in science.

"The nanotube is the smallest tube on earth and we have found a sleeve to put over it," says Papadimitrakopoulos, whose discovery is featured in the March 6 issue of Science magazine. (www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/short/323/5919/1319)

"This is the first time that a nanotube was found to emit with as much as 20 percent luminescence efficiency."

The more luminescent the nanotube, the brighter it appears under infrared irradiation or by electrical excitation (such as that provided by a light-emitting diode or LED).

Carbon nanotube emissions are not only extremely sharp, but they also appear in a spectral region where minimal absorption or scattering by soft tissue takes place, making them ideal for medical imaging, Papadimitrakopoulos says.

Increasing the luminescence efficiency of carbon nanotubes may someday make it possible for doctors to inject patients with microscopic nanotubes to detect tumors, arterial blockages, and other internal problems.

Rather than relying on potentially harmful X-rays or the use of radioactive dyes, physicians could simply scan patients with an infrared light that would capture the luminescence of the nanotubes in problem areas in very sharp resolution.

Carbon nanotubes also have properties that make them ideally suited for near-infrared emitters, Papadimitrakopoulos says, making them appropriate for applications in homeland security as bio-reporting agents in the case of terrorist attacks and as nano-sized beacons.

Their luminescence also allows them to readily integrate with silicon-based technology. This provides an enormous repertoire for nanotube use in advanced fiber optics components, infrared light modulators, and biological sensors.

The key to the discovery was a flavin-based (Vitamin B2) helical wrapping that formed an especially tight and seamless barrier around the nanotube.

Working closely with Papadimitrakopoulos in discovering the wrapping process were Sang-Yong Ju, a graduate student in the Polymer Program (now a researcher at Cornell University), and William Kopcha, a former undergraduate in chemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who is now a first-year graduate student here.

The Center for Science and Technology Commercialization (CSTC) is assisting Papadimitrakopoulos in obtaining a patent for the process.

In addition, Xiao-Ming Xu, a graduate student in the Department of Pharmaceutics under the supervision of Professor Diane Burgess, created a computerized animation of the wrapping process that has allowed Papadimitrakopoulos to receive international media attention for the discovery.

The animation can be found at: www.ims.uconn.edu/~papadim/research.htm

This is the second major nanotube discovery at UConn by Papadimitrakopoulos in the past two years. Last year, Papadimitrakopoulos, Sang-Yong Ju, and other UConn researchers patented a way to isolate certain carbon nanotubes from others by using a similar method of wrapping a form of vitamin B2 around the nanotubes.

It was out of that research that Papadimitrakopoulos and Sang-Yong Ju began wrapping nanotubes with helical assemblies and probing their luminescence properties.

####

For more information, please click here

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

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen March 24th, 2017

Promising results obtained with a new electrocatalyst that reduces the need for platinum: Researchers from Aalto University have succeeded in manufacturing electrocatalysts used for storing electric energy with one-hundredth of the amount of platinum that is usually needed March 24th, 2017

Leti Presents Advances in Propagation Modeling and Antenna Design for mmWave Spectrum: Paper Is One of 15 that Leti Presented at European Conference on Antennas and Propagation March 19-24 March 23rd, 2017

Rice U. refines filters for greener natural gas: New study defines best materials for carbon capture, methane selectivity March 23rd, 2017

Imaging

Caught on camera -- chemical reactions 'filmed' at the single-molecule level March 22nd, 2017

Next-gen steel under the microscope March 18th, 2017

Novel nozzle saves crystals: Double flow concept widens spectrum for protein crystallography March 17th, 2017

JPK’s NanoWizard® AFM systems are used at the University of Sheffield to understand soft matter and biological systems at the molecular scale March 7th, 2017

Possible Futures

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen March 24th, 2017

Promising results obtained with a new electrocatalyst that reduces the need for platinum: Researchers from Aalto University have succeeded in manufacturing electrocatalysts used for storing electric energy with one-hundredth of the amount of platinum that is usually needed March 24th, 2017

Rice U. refines filters for greener natural gas: New study defines best materials for carbon capture, methane selectivity March 23rd, 2017

Artificial photosynthesis steps into the light: Rice University lab turns transition metals into practical catalyst for solar, other applications March 23rd, 2017

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

Intertronics introduce new nanoparticle deagglomeration technology March 15th, 2017

Boron atoms stretch out, gain new powers: Rice University simulations demonstrate 1-D material's stiffness, electrical versatility January 26th, 2017

New stem cell technique shows promise for bone repair January 25th, 2017

Captured on video: DNA nanotubes build a bridge between 2 molecular posts: Research may lead to new lines of direct communication with cells January 9th, 2017

Nanomedicine

Nanobiotix: The Independent Data Monitoring Committee Recommends the Continuation of the Ongoing Phase II/III Trial of NBTXR3 in Soft Tissue Sarcoma March 23rd, 2017

Nanoparticle paves the way for new triple negative breast cancer drug March 20th, 2017

Block copolymer micellization as a protection strategy for DNA origami March 17th, 2017

Nanocages for gold particles: what is happening inside? March 16th, 2017

Sensors

UC researchers use gold coating to control luminescence of nanowires: University of Cincinnati physicists manipulate nanowire semiconductors in pursuit of making electronics smaller, faster and cheaper March 17th, 2017

Optical fingerprint can reveal pollutants in the air: Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have proposed a new, sophisticated method of detecting molecules with sensors based on ultra-thin nanomaterials March 15th, 2017

New optical nanosensor improves brain mapping accuracy, opens way for more applications: Potassium-sensitive fluorescence-imaging method shines light on chemical activity within the brain March 3rd, 2017

Smart multi-layered magnetic material acts as an electric switch: New study reveals characteristic of islands of magnetic metals between vacuum gaps, displaying tunnelling electric current March 1st, 2017

Discoveries

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen March 24th, 2017

Promising results obtained with a new electrocatalyst that reduces the need for platinum: Researchers from Aalto University have succeeded in manufacturing electrocatalysts used for storing electric energy with one-hundredth of the amount of platinum that is usually needed March 24th, 2017

Rice U. refines filters for greener natural gas: New study defines best materials for carbon capture, methane selectivity March 23rd, 2017

Artificial photosynthesis steps into the light: Rice University lab turns transition metals into practical catalyst for solar, other applications March 23rd, 2017

Announcements

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen March 24th, 2017

Promising results obtained with a new electrocatalyst that reduces the need for platinum: Researchers from Aalto University have succeeded in manufacturing electrocatalysts used for storing electric energy with one-hundredth of the amount of platinum that is usually needed March 24th, 2017

Rice U. refines filters for greener natural gas: New study defines best materials for carbon capture, methane selectivity March 23rd, 2017

Artificial photosynthesis steps into the light: Rice University lab turns transition metals into practical catalyst for solar, other applications March 23rd, 2017

Homeland Security

Nanosensors on the alert for terrorist threats: Scientists interested in the prospects of gas sensors based on binary metal oxide nanocomposites November 5th, 2016

Nanobionic spinach plants can detect explosives: After sensing dangerous chemicals, the carbon-nanotube-enhanced plants send an alert November 2nd, 2016

Notre Dame researchers find transition point in semiconductor nanomaterials September 6th, 2016

Down to the wire: ONR researchers and new bacteria August 18th, 2016

Military

Graphene sheets capture cells efficiently: New method could enable pinpoint diagnostics on individual blood cells March 3rd, 2017

Bioinspired process makes materials light, robust, programmable at nano- to macro-scale: Ultralight web of silk nano fibers withstands load 4,000 times its weight February 28th, 2017

'Lossless' metamaterial could boost efficiency of lasers and other light-based devices February 20th, 2017

Engineers shrink microscope to dime-sized device February 17th, 2017

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