Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

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

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 4th, 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.


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.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Stuart Forsyth
University of Glasgow Media Relations Office
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

Halas wins American Physical Society's Lilienfeld Prize: Rice University nanoscientist honored for pioneering research in plasmonics October 23rd, 2017

GTC Shanghai Highlights GF’s Momentum in China: Company shares details of technology roadmap and customer adoption in the world’s fastest-growing market for semiconductors October 23rd, 2017

Nanobiotix completes patient inclusion for Phase II/III trial of NBTXR3 in soft tissue sarcoma October 23rd, 2017

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Reports Inducement Grants under NASDAQ Marketplace Rule 5635(c)(4) October 23rd, 2017

Chemistry

Creation of coherent states in molecules by incoherent electrons October 21st, 2017

What can be discovered at the junction of physics and chemistry October 6th, 2017

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

Chemical hot spots: Scanning tunneling microscopy measurements identify active sites on catalyst surfaces September 7th, 2017

Possible Futures

GTC Shanghai Highlights GF’s Momentum in China: Company shares details of technology roadmap and customer adoption in the world’s fastest-growing market for semiconductors October 23rd, 2017

Researchers bring optical communication onto silicon chips: Ultrathin films of a semiconductor that emits and detects light can be stacked on top of silicon wafers October 23rd, 2017

Nanotube fiber antennas as capable as copper: Rice University researchers show their flexible fibers work well but weigh much less October 23rd, 2017

Novel 'converter' heralds breakthrough in ultra-fast data processing at nanoscale: Invention bagged four patents and could potentially make microprocessor chips work 1,000 times faster October 20th, 2017

Molecular Machines

How to draw electricity from the bloodstream: A one-dimensional fluidic nanogenerator with a high power-conversion efficiency September 11th, 2017

First 3-D observation of nanomachines working inside cells: Researchers headed by IRB Barcelona combine genetic engineering, super-resolution microscopy and biocomputation to allow them to see in 3-D the protein machinery inside living cells January 27th, 2017

Micro-bubbles make big impact: Research team develops new ultrasound-powered actuator to develop micro robot November 25th, 2016

Scientists come up with light-driven motors to power nanorobots of the future: Researchers from Russia and Ukraine propose a nanosized motor controlled by a laser with potential applications across the natural sciences and medicine November 11th, 2016

Self Assembly

Physicists gain new insights into nanosystems with spherical confinement: Enormous potential for the targeted delivery of pharmaceutical agents and the creation of tailored nanoparticles July 27th, 2017

Oddball enzyme provides easy path to synthetic biomaterials May 17th, 2017

Nanotubes that build themselves April 14th, 2017

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

Nanomedicine

Nanobiotix completes patient inclusion for Phase II/III trial of NBTXR3 in soft tissue sarcoma October 23rd, 2017

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Reports Inducement Grants under NASDAQ Marketplace Rule 5635(c)(4) October 23rd, 2017

Arrowhead Presents Promising Preclinical Data on Development of ARO-AAT for Treatment of Alpha-1 Liver Disease at Liver Meeting(R) 2017 October 23rd, 2017

Spinning strands hint at folding dynamics: Rice University lab uses magnetic beads to model microscopic proteins, polymers October 17th, 2017

Sensors

MIPT scientists revisit optical constants of ultrathin gold films October 20th, 2017

Rice U. study: Vibrating nanoparticles interact: Placing nanodisks in groups can change their vibrational frequencies October 16th, 2017

Single ‘solitons’ promising for optical technologies October 9th, 2017

Two dimensional materials: Advanced molybdenum selenide near infrared phototransistors September 27th, 2017

Nanoelectronics

Researchers bring optical communication onto silicon chips: Ultrathin films of a semiconductor that emits and detects light can be stacked on top of silicon wafers October 23rd, 2017

Nanometrics Announces Preliminary Results for the Third Quarter of 2017: Quarterly Results Impacted by Delays in Revenue Recognition on Multiple Systems into Japan October 12th, 2017

Seeing the next dimension of computer chips: Researchers image perfectly smooth side-surfaces of 3-D silicon crystals with a scanning tunneling microscope, paving the way for smaller and faster computing devices October 11th, 2017

Columbia engineers invent breakthrough millimeter-wave circulator IC October 6th, 2017

Announcements

Nanobiotix completes patient inclusion for Phase II/III trial of NBTXR3 in soft tissue sarcoma October 23rd, 2017

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Reports Inducement Grants under NASDAQ Marketplace Rule 5635(c)(4) October 23rd, 2017

Researchers bring optical communication onto silicon chips: Ultrathin films of a semiconductor that emits and detects light can be stacked on top of silicon wafers October 23rd, 2017

Nanotube fiber antennas as capable as copper: Rice University researchers show their flexible fibers work well but weigh much less October 23rd, 2017

Nanobiotechnology

Nanobiotix completes patient inclusion for Phase II/III trial of NBTXR3 in soft tissue sarcoma October 23rd, 2017

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Reports Inducement Grants under NASDAQ Marketplace Rule 5635(c)(4) October 23rd, 2017

Arrowhead Presents Promising Preclinical Data on Development of ARO-AAT for Treatment of Alpha-1 Liver Disease at Liver Meeting(R) 2017 October 23rd, 2017

Spinning strands hint at folding dynamics: Rice University lab uses magnetic beads to model microscopic proteins, polymers October 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