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

Researchers find new way to control light with electric fields May 25th, 2017

Nanometrics Announces Retirement Plans of CEO Timothy Stultz: Dr. Stultz to Continue as Director May 25th, 2017

Nanomechanics, Inc. to Exhibit at the SEM Conference: Nanoindentation experts will attend and exhibit their instruments at the Conference and Exposition on Experimental and Applied Mechanics in Indianapolis May 25th, 2017

Three-dimensional graphene: Experiment at BESSY II shows that optical properties are tuneable May 24th, 2017

Chemistry

Stanford scientists use nanotechnology to boost the performance of key industrial catalyst May 18th, 2017

Sandia develops math techniques to improve computational efficiency in quantum chemistry May 5th, 2017

Metal nanoparticles induced visible-light photocatalysis: Mechanisms, applications, ways of promoting catalytic activity and outlook April 27th, 2017

Shedding light on the absorption of light by titanium dioxide April 14th, 2017

Possible Futures

Researchers find new way to control light with electric fields May 25th, 2017

Nanomechanics, Inc. to Exhibit at the SEM Conference: Nanoindentation experts will attend and exhibit their instruments at the Conference and Exposition on Experimental and Applied Mechanics in Indianapolis May 25th, 2017

Three-dimensional graphene: Experiment at BESSY II shows that optical properties are tuneable May 24th, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Chengdu Partner to Expand FD-SOI Ecosystem in China: More than $100M investment to establish a center of excellence for FDXTM FD-SOI design May 23rd, 2017

Molecular Machines

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

HKU chemists develop world's first light-seeking synthetic Nanorobot November 9th, 2016

Self Assembly

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

Most Complex Nanoparticle Crystal Ever Made by Design: Possible applications include controlling light, capturing pollutants, delivering therapeutics March 2nd, 2017

Nanomedicine

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 2017

Sensors detect disease markers in breath May 19th, 2017

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

The brighter side of twisted polymers: Conjugated polymers designed with a twist produce tiny, brightly fluorescent particles with broad applications May 16th, 2017

Sensors

'Hot' electrons don't mind the gap: Rice University scientists find nanogaps in plasmonic gold wires enhance voltage when excited May 8th, 2017

Better living through pressure: Functional nanomaterials made easy April 19th, 2017

A Sensitive And Dynamic Tactile Sensor Read more from Asian Scientist Magazine at: https://www.asianscientist.com/2017/04/tech/tactile-3d-active-matrix-sensor/ April 18th, 2017

AIM Photonics Presents Cutting-Edge Integrated Photonics Technology Developments to Packed House at OFC 2017, the Optical Networking and Communication Conference & Exhibition April 11th, 2017

Nanoelectronics

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

Racyics Launches ‘makeChip’ Design Service Platform for GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ 22FDX® Technology: Racyics will provide IP and design services as a part of the foundry’s FDXcelerator™ Partner Program May 11th, 2017

Researchers “iron out” graphene’s wrinkles: New technique produces highly conductive graphene wafers April 3rd, 2017

A big leap toward tinier lines: Self-assembly technique could lead to long-awaited, simple method for making smaller microchip patterns March 27th, 2017

Announcements

Researchers find new way to control light with electric fields May 25th, 2017

Nanometrics Announces Retirement Plans of CEO Timothy Stultz: Dr. Stultz to Continue as Director May 25th, 2017

Nanomechanics, Inc. to Exhibit at the SEM Conference: Nanoindentation experts will attend and exhibit their instruments at the Conference and Exposition on Experimental and Applied Mechanics in Indianapolis May 25th, 2017

Three-dimensional graphene: Experiment at BESSY II shows that optical properties are tuneable May 24th, 2017

Nanobiotechnology

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 2017

Sensors detect disease markers in breath May 19th, 2017

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

The brighter side of twisted polymers: Conjugated polymers designed with a twist produce tiny, brightly fluorescent particles with broad applications May 16th, 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