Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

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

New method allows for greater variation in band gap tunability: The method can change a material's electronic band gap by up to 200 percent January 31st, 2015

Evidence mounts for quantum criticality theory: Findings bolster theory that quantum fluctuations drive strange electronic phenomena January 30th, 2015

Everything You Need To Know About Nanopesticides January 30th, 2015

DNA nanoswitches reveal how life's molecules connect: An accessible new way to study molecular interactions could lower cost and time associated with discovering new drugs January 30th, 2015

Chemistry

Creating new materials with quantum effects for electronics January 29th, 2015

Anti-microbial coatings with a long-term effect for surfaces – presentation at nano tech 2015 in Japan January 21st, 2015

Hydrogels deliver on blood-vessel growth: Rice researchers introduce improved injectable scaffold to promote healing January 20th, 2015

Graphene enables all-electrical control of energy flow from light emitters: First signatures of graphene plasmons at telecommunications wavelength revealed January 20th, 2015

Possible Futures

GS7 Graphene Sensor maybe Solution in Fight Against Cancer January 25th, 2015

Nanotechnology in Energy Applications Market Research Report 2014-2018: Radiant Insights, Inc January 15th, 2015

'Mind the gap' between atomically thin materials December 23rd, 2014

A novel method for identifying the body’s ‘noisiest’ networks November 19th, 2014

Molecular Machines

Stomach acid-powered micromotors get their first test in a living animal January 27th, 2015

Nanoshuttle wear and tear: It's the mileage, not the age January 26th, 2015

Mysteries of ‘Molecular Machines’ Revealed: Phenix software uses X-ray diffraction spots to produce 3-D image December 22nd, 2014

Creation of 'Rocker' protein opens way for new smart molecules in medicine, other fields December 18th, 2014

Self Assembly

Engineering self-assembling amyloid fibers January 26th, 2015

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

Nanomedicine

DNA nanoswitches reveal how life's molecules connect: An accessible new way to study molecular interactions could lower cost and time associated with discovering new drugs January 30th, 2015

Made-in-Singapore rapid test kit detects dengue antibodies from saliva: IBN's MedTech innovation simplifies diagnosis of infectious diseases January 29th, 2015

Iranian Researchers Planning to Produce Edible Insulin January 28th, 2015

Nanoparticles that deliver oligonucleotide drugs into cells described in Nucleic Acid Therapeutics January 28th, 2015

Sensors

Detection of Heavy Metals in Samples with Naked Eye January 26th, 2015

GS7 Graphene Sensor maybe Solution in Fight Against Cancer January 25th, 2015

Nanosensor Used for Simultaneous Determination of Effective Tea Components January 24th, 2015

Iranian Scientists Produce Graphene-Based Oxygen Sensor January 23rd, 2015

Nanoelectronics

Electronic circuits with reconfigurable pathways closer to reality January 26th, 2015

Rice-sized laser, powered one electron at a time, bodes well for quantum computing January 15th, 2015

Rapid journey through a crystal lattice: Researchers measure how fast electrons move through single atomic layers January 14th, 2015

A new step towards using graphene in electronic applications January 14th, 2015

Announcements

New method allows for greater variation in band gap tunability: The method can change a material's electronic band gap by up to 200 percent January 31st, 2015

Evidence mounts for quantum criticality theory: Findings bolster theory that quantum fluctuations drive strange electronic phenomena January 30th, 2015

Everything You Need To Know About Nanopesticides January 30th, 2015

DNA nanoswitches reveal how life's molecules connect: An accessible new way to study molecular interactions could lower cost and time associated with discovering new drugs January 30th, 2015

Nanobiotechnology

DNA nanoswitches reveal how life's molecules connect: An accessible new way to study molecular interactions could lower cost and time associated with discovering new drugs January 30th, 2015

Spider electro-combs its sticky nano-filaments January 28th, 2015

Nanoshuttle wear and tear: It's the mileage, not the age January 26th, 2015

Engineering self-assembling amyloid fibers January 26th, 2015

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 1999-2015 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE