Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Scientists ‘photograph’ nano-particle self-assembly

Courtesy and Copyright Lee Cronin
Courtesy and Copyright Lee Cronin

Abstract:
Scientists at the University of Glasgow have imaged the self-assembly of nano-particles, unveiling the blueprint for building designer molecular machines atom-by-atom.

Scientists ‘photograph’ nano-particle self-assembly

Scotland | Posted on January 2nd, 2010

Working out how nano-particles are built is key to developing new ‘intelligent materials', electronic devices, and understanding the bio-machinery that operates in living cells.

The ability to control this self-assembly has profound consequences for the development of new technologies as well as understanding the basis for complex chemistry, and for example, the origins of life.

In a study reported in the journal Science this week, researchers at Glasgow, along with colleagues at the University of Bielefeld, Germany, devised an experiment which enabled them to observe molecules being constructed around what appeared to be a transient template cluster.

The experiment involved the construction a flow reactor system for the assembly of the nano-particles under dynamic ‘flowing' conditions. This new experimental approach allows self-assembly to be examined in a new way at the nano-level, giving rise to unprecedented mechanistic information unmasking the complexities of molecular self-assembly.

Self-assembly describes the process by which objects form a particular arrangement without any external manipulation.

During the experiment, the researchers observed the self-assembly of molybdenum oxide wheel molecules around an intermediate structure in the centre of the wheel which they found to be the ‘template' or scaffold used to construct the larger molecule. Following completion of the molybdenum oxide wheel molecule, which is just 3.6 nanometres in diameter, the template was ejected, freeing it to repeat the process.

The researchers were able to ‘photograph' this process and the template using X-ray crystallography.

Professor Leroy Cronin, Gardiner Chair of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, who devised and led the study, said: "This advance is very important since in the construction of molecular nano-objects we must rely on ‘self-assembly' where the nano-scale objects builds itself - a process which is almost impossible to understand or control using current step-wise chemical synthesis approaches

"Therefore, understanding the assembly process is vital if we are to create a new range of functional nano-objects.

"This discovery could lead the way for the designed assembly of a whole range of precisely-defined nano-particles with applications in electronics, medicine, and catalysis to allow the design of intelligent or smart nano-sensors and nano-functional machines, not to mention the fundamental implications regarding the assembly of complex chemical systems, the most spectacular example of which are living cells."

The idea of ‘molecular machines', was popularised by US engineer Eric Drexler from the 1970s and involves controlling the positions of molecules in chemical reactions to obtain the desired result.

While scientists can already synthesise many substances and materials in chemistry through the interactions of different compounds, at the nanoscale the task becomes almost impossible because it becomes harder to control.

Cronin added: "This result is massively interesting, not only do we get to ‘image' self-assembly for the first time using this type of flow system, this discovery will allow us to devise new types of blueprint that could allow the assembly of a whole new class of designer nano-particles opening a whole new world of discoveries and applications.

"This approach will also give information about the fidelity of self-assembly which is of great topical interest especially related to the health impacts of nano-particles in our environment".

The paper, entitled: ‘Unveiling the Transient Template in the Self-Assembly of a Molecular Oxide Nanowheel' is the cover story in the latest edition of the journal Science


For more information contact Stuart Forsyth in the University of Glasgow Media Relations Office on 0141 330 4831 or email

Notes to Editors

Lee Cronin has been working in the area of Molecular Self Assembly for the last decade and was recently awarded a 2007 £70,000 Philip Leverhulme Prize for his efforts in this area. He leads a team looking to apply self assembly to design new molecular computers and devices and was awarded a £3.8 M programme grant in this area by the EPSRC in November 2009.

The molybdenum oxide wheels were first discovered by Achim Mueller and colleagues at University of Bielefeld, and they have been the basis for a new type of chemistry and applications in material science.

Science - Founded in 1880 on $10,000 of seed money from the American inventor Thomas Edison, Science has grown to become the world's leading outlet for scientific news, commentary, and cutting-edge research, with the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general-science journal. Through its print and online incarnations, Science reaches an estimated worldwide readership of more than one million. In content, too, the journal is truly international in scope; some 35 to 40 percent of the corresponding authors on its papers are based outside the United States. Its articles consistently rank among world's most cited research.

####

About University of Glasgow
Our mission is to undertake leading-edge, internationally-competitive research while offering a challenging student-centred learning environment. Through our status as a leading international university, we aim to sustain and add value to Scottish culture and society, to the natural environment and to the national economy.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Stuart Forsyth
0141 330 4831

Copyright © University of Glasgow

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

Nanotechnology and math deliver two-in-one punch for cancer therapy resistance June 24th, 2016

Researchers discover new chemical sensing technique: Technique allows sharper detail -- and more information -- with near infrared light June 24th, 2016

GraphExeter illuminates bright new future for flexible lighting devices June 23rd, 2016

Soft decoupling of organic molecules on metal June 23rd, 2016

Chemistry

Quantum calculations broaden the understanding of crystal catalysts: Quantum mechanics and a supercomputer help scientists to identify the position of atoms on the surface of rutile June 22nd, 2016

Droplets finally all the same size -- in a nanodroplet library June 20th, 2016

Nano 'hall of mirrors' causes molecules to mix with light June 14th, 2016

Weird, water-oozing material could help quench thirst: Nanorods' behavior first theorized 20 years ago, but not seen until now June 13th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Particle zoo in a quantum computer: First experimental quantum simulation of particle physics phenomena June 23rd, 2016

New electron microscope method detects atomic-scale magnetism June 22nd, 2016

Tailored DNA shifts electrons into the 'fast lane': DNA nanowire improved by altering sequences June 22nd, 2016

Titan shines light on high-temperature superconductor pathway: Simulation demonstrates how superconductivity arises in cuprates' pseudogap phase June 22nd, 2016

Molecular Machines

Rice University's nanosubs gain better fluorescent properties for tracking June 17th, 2016

Little ANTs: Researchers build the world's tiniest engine May 3rd, 2016

Researchers create artificial protein to control assembly of buckyballs April 27th, 2016

Physicists build engine consisting of one atom: World's smallest heat engine uses just a single particle April 17th, 2016

Self Assembly

Self-assembling icosahedral protein designed: Self-assembling icosahedral protein designed June 22nd, 2016

DNA shaping up to be ideal framework for rationally designed nanostructures: Shaped DNA frames that precisely link nanoparticles into different structures offer a platform for designing functional nanomaterials June 14th, 2016

Automating DNA origami opens door to many new uses: Like 3-D printing did for larger objects, method makes it easy to build nanoparticles out of DNA May 30th, 2016

Searching for a nanotech self-organizing principle May 1st, 2016

Announcements

Nanotechnology and math deliver two-in-one punch for cancer therapy resistance June 24th, 2016

Researchers discover new chemical sensing technique: Technique allows sharper detail -- and more information -- with near infrared light June 24th, 2016

GraphExeter illuminates bright new future for flexible lighting devices June 23rd, 2016

Soft decoupling of organic molecules on metal June 23rd, 2016

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