Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

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

Nano Ruffles in Brain Matter: Freiburg researchers decipher the role of nanostructures around brain cells in central nervous system function October 31st, 2014

Gold nanoparticle chains confine light to the nanoscale October 31st, 2014

'Nanomotor lithography' answers call for affordable, simpler device manufacturing October 31st, 2014

Device invented at Johns Hopkins provides up-close look at cancer on the move: Microscopic view of metastasis could give insight about how to keep cancer in check October 31st, 2014

Imaging

A new cheap and efficient method to improve SERS, an ultra-sensitive chemical detection technique October 28th, 2014

Molecular beacons shine light on how cells 'crawl' October 27th, 2014

National Synchrotron Light Source II Achieves 'First Light' October 23rd, 2014

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

Possible Futures

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

Superconducting circuits, simplified: New circuit design could unlock the power of experimental superconducting computer chips October 18th, 2014

Nanocoatings Market By Product Is Expected To Reach USD 8.17 Billion By 2020: Grand View Research, Inc. October 15th, 2014

Perpetuus Carbon Group Receives Independent Verification of its Production Capacity for Graphenes at 140 Tonnes per Annum: Perpetuus Becomes the First Manufacturer in the Sector to Allow Third Party Audit October 7th, 2014

Nanotubes/Buckyballs

Tiny carbon nanotube pores make big impact October 29th, 2014

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

Nanomedicine

Nano Ruffles in Brain Matter: Freiburg researchers decipher the role of nanostructures around brain cells in central nervous system function October 31st, 2014

Production of Biocompatible Polymers in Iran October 30th, 2014

Amorphous Coordination Polymer Particles as alternative to classical nanoplatforms for nanomedicine October 30th, 2014

'Electronic skin' could improve early breast cancer detection October 29th, 2014

Sensors

Gold nanoparticle chains confine light to the nanoscale October 31st, 2014

'Nanomotor lithography' answers call for affordable, simpler device manufacturing October 31st, 2014

Tiny carbon nanotube pores make big impact October 29th, 2014

MEMS & Sensors Technology Showcase: Finalists Announced for MEMS Executive Congress US 2014 October 23rd, 2014

Discoveries

Nano Ruffles in Brain Matter: Freiburg researchers decipher the role of nanostructures around brain cells in central nervous system function October 31st, 2014

Gold nanoparticle chains confine light to the nanoscale October 31st, 2014

'Nanomotor lithography' answers call for affordable, simpler device manufacturing October 31st, 2014

Device invented at Johns Hopkins provides up-close look at cancer on the move: Microscopic view of metastasis could give insight about how to keep cancer in check October 31st, 2014

Announcements

Nano Ruffles in Brain Matter: Freiburg researchers decipher the role of nanostructures around brain cells in central nervous system function October 31st, 2014

Gold nanoparticle chains confine light to the nanoscale October 31st, 2014

'Nanomotor lithography' answers call for affordable, simpler device manufacturing October 31st, 2014

Device invented at Johns Hopkins provides up-close look at cancer on the move: Microscopic view of metastasis could give insight about how to keep cancer in check October 31st, 2014

Homeland Security

Microrockets fueled by water neutralize chemical and biological warfare agents October 29th, 2014

NanoTechnology for Defense (NT4D) October 22nd, 2014

UT Arlington researchers develop transparent nanoscintillators for radiation detection for medical safety and homeland security September 29th, 2014

Seeking Nanoscale Defenses for Biological and Chemical Threats: WPI co-organizes a NATO workshop to improve the detection and decontamination of biological and chemical agents September 13th, 2014

Military

'Nanomotor lithography' answers call for affordable, simpler device manufacturing October 31st, 2014

Microrockets fueled by water neutralize chemical and biological warfare agents October 29th, 2014

Breakthrough in molecular electronics paves the way for DNA-based computer circuits in the future: DNA-based programmable circuits could be more sophisticated, cheaper and simpler to make October 27th, 2014

NanoTechnology for Defense (NT4D) October 22nd, 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