Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > NYU Researchers Create Method to Precisely Glue Particles Together On the Micro- and Nano-Scale

The novel DNA 'sticky ends' can form intra-particle loops and hairpins (e.g. schemes II & III), giving more control over the particles' interactions than conventional sticky ends that can only form inter-particle bridges (scheme Ia).
The novel DNA 'sticky ends' can form intra-particle loops and hairpins (e.g. schemes II & III), giving more control over the particles' interactions than conventional sticky ends that can only form inter-particle bridges (scheme Ia).

Abstract:
Researchers at New York University have created a method to precisely bind nano- and micrometer-sized particles together into larger-scale structures with useful materials properties. Their work, which appears in the latest issue of the journal Nature Materials, overcomes the problem of uncontrollable sticking, which had been a barrier to the successful creation of stable microscopic and macroscopic structures with a sophisticated architecture.

NYU Researchers Create Method to Precisely Glue Particles Together On the Micro- and Nano-Scale

New York, NY | Posted on June 16th, 2009

The long-term goal of the NYU researchers is to create non-biological materials that have the ability to self-replicate. In the process of self-replication, the number of objects doubles every cycle. This exponential growth stands in sharp contrast to conventional materials production, where doubling the amount of product requires twice the production time. At present, this linear scaling poses a major stumbling block for the fabrication of useful quantities of microscopic objects with a sophisticated architecture, which are needed for the next stages of micro- and nanotechnology.

In order to obtain self-replication, the researchers coat micrometer-sized particles with short stretches of DNA, so-called "sticky ends". Each sticky end consists of a particular sequence of DNA building blocks and sticky ends with complementary sequences form very specific bonds that are reversible. Below a certain temperature, the particles recognize each other and bind together, while they unbind again above that temperature. This enables a scheme in which the particles spontaneously organize into an exact copy on top of a template, which can then be released by elevating the temperature.

Scientists have used DNA-mediated interactions before, but it has always been very difficult to bind only a subset of particles—usually, either all particles or no particles are bound. This makes it challenging to make well-defined structures. Therefore, the NYU team, comprised of researchers in the Physics Department's Center for Soft Matter Research and in the university's Department of Chemistry, sought to find a method to better control the interactions and organization of the particles.

To do so, the researchers took advantage of the ability of certain DNA sequences to fold into a hairpin-like structure or to bind to neighboring sticky ends on the same particle. They found that if they lowered the temperature very rapidly, these sticky ends fold up on the particle—before they can bind to sticky ends on other particles. The particles stuck only when they were held together for several minutes—a sufficient period for the sticky ends to find a binding partner on another particle.

"We can finely tune and even switch off the attractions between particles, rendering them inert unless they are heated or held together—like a nano-contact glue," said Mirjam Leunissen, a post-doctoral fellow in the Center for Soft Matter Research and the study's lead author.

To maneuver the particles, the team used optical traps, or tweezers. This tool, created by David Grier, chair of NYU's Department of Physics and one of the paper's authors, uses laser beams to move objects as small as a few nanometers, or one-billionth of a meter.

The work has a range of possible applications. Notably, because the size of micrometer-scale particles—approximately one-tenth the thickness of a strand of human hair—is comparable to the wavelength of visible light, ordered arrays of these particles can be used for optical devices. These include sensors and photonic crystals that can switch light analogous to the way semi-conductors switch electrical currents. Moreover, the same organizational principles apply to smaller nanoparticles, which possess a wide range of electrical, optical, and magnetic properties that are useful for applications.

The work was supported by the National Science Foundation's Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) program, the Keck Foundation, and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.

####

About New York University
The center of NYU is its Washington Square campus in the heart of Greenwich Village. One of the city's most creative and energetic communities, the Village is a historic neighborhood that has attracted generations of writers, musicians, artists, and intellectuals. Beyond the Village, New York City becomes an extension of the University's campus.

Enrollment in the undergraduate divisions of the University ranges between 100 and 6,500. While some introductory classes have large numbers of students, many classes are small. With more than 2,500 courses offered, the University awards more than 25 different degrees.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
James Devitt
(212) 998-6808

Copyright © New York 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

Self Assembly

Revealed: How bacteria drill into our cells and kill them December 2nd, 2014

Live Images from the Nano-cosmos: Researchers watch layers of football molecules grow November 5th, 2014

Outsmarting Thermodynamics in Self-assembly of Nanostructures: Berkeley Lab reports method for symmetry-breaking in feedback-driven self-assembly of optical metamaterials November 4th, 2014

NYU Researchers Break Nano Barrier to Engineer the First Protein Microfiber October 23rd, 2014

Sensors

Promising new method for rapidly screening cancer drugs: UMass Amherst researchers invent fast, accurate new nanoparticle-based sensor system December 15th, 2014

Graphene Applied in Production of Recyclable Electrodes December 13th, 2014

Detecting gases wirelessly and cheaply: New sensor can transmit information on hazardous chemicals or food spoilage to a smartphone December 8th, 2014

Nanosensor to Detect Naproxen Drug Produced in Iran December 6th, 2014

Discoveries

Atom-thick CCD could capture images: Rice University scientists develop two-dimensional, light-sensitive material December 20th, 2014

Oregon researchers glimpse pathway of sunlight to electricity: Collaboration with Lund University uses modified UO spectroscopy equipment to study 'maze' of connections in photoactive quantum dots December 19th, 2014

Instant-start computers possible with new breakthrough December 19th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Use Nanotechnology to Increase Power, Energy of Supercapacitors December 18th, 2014

Announcements

Atom-thick CCD could capture images: Rice University scientists develop two-dimensional, light-sensitive material December 20th, 2014

Oregon researchers glimpse pathway of sunlight to electricity: Collaboration with Lund University uses modified UO spectroscopy equipment to study 'maze' of connections in photoactive quantum dots December 19th, 2014

Instant-start computers possible with new breakthrough December 19th, 2014

Aculon Hires New Business Development Director December 19th, 2014

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Atom-thick CCD could capture images: Rice University scientists develop two-dimensional, light-sensitive material December 20th, 2014

Nanoshaping method points to future manufacturing technology December 11th, 2014

Stacking two-dimensional materials may lower cost of semiconductor devices December 11th, 2014

Defects are perfect in laser-induced graphene: Rice University lab discovers simple way to make material for energy storage, electronics December 10th, 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