Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > How many argon atoms can fit on the surface of a carbon nanotube?

Abstract:
Scientists have devised a new way to explore how such phase transitions function in less than three dimensions and at the level of just a few atoms.

How many argon atoms can fit on the surface of a carbon nanotube?

Seattle, WA | Posted on January 30th, 2010

Phase transitions -- changes of matter from one state to another without altering its chemical makeup -- are an important part of life in our three-dimensional world. Water falls to the ground as snow, melts to a liquid and eventually vaporizes back to the clouds to begin the cycle anew.

Now a team of scientists has devised a new way to explore how such phase transitions function in less than three dimensions and at the level of just a few atoms. They hope the technique will be useful to test aspects of what until now has been purely theoretical physics, and they hope it also might have practical applications for sensing conditions at very tiny scales, such as in a cell membrane.

They worked with single-walled carbon nanotubes, extremely thin, hollow graphite structures that can be so tiny that they are nearly one-dimensional, to study the phase transition behavior of argon and krypton atoms.

"The physics can be quite different in fewer than three dimensions," said David Cobden, an associate professor of physics at the University of Washington and corresponding author of a paper describing the work published Friday (Jan. 29) in Science.

Co-authors, all from the UW, are Zenghui Wang, Jiang Wei, Peter Morse, J. Gregory Dash and Oscar Vilches.

For their observations, the group used carbon nanotubes, microscopic cylinders that have some thickness but are very close to being one-dimensional.

Phase transitions change the density of atoms. In the vapor form, there are fewer atoms and they are loosely packed. Liquid has more atoms and they are more tightly packed. The solid is a crystal formed of very tightly packed atoms. To determine the phase of the argon and krypton atoms, the researchers used the carbon nanotube much like a guitar string stretched over a fret. A nearby piece of conducting metal applied an electrical force to oscillate the string, and the scientists measured the current to "listen" as the vibration frequency changed -- a greater mass of atoms sticking to the nanotube surface produced a lower frequency.

"You listen to this nano guitar and as the pitch goes down you know there are more atoms sticking to the surface," Cobden said. "In principle you can hear one atom landing on the tube -- it's that sensitive."

The researchers also found that the nanotube's electrical resistance changed when krypton atoms stuck to the surface.

In the future, the scientists hope to be able to see how the atoms, as they populate the carbon nanotube, react to each other through various phase transitions, and also how they interact with the pure carbon graphite of the nanotube. They expect to see some significant differences in experiments approaching one dimension from those in two or three dimensions.

"For example, matter can freeze in 3-D and in 2-D, but theoretically it should not freeze in 1-D," Cobden said.

Besides providing a test bed for physics theories, the work also could be useful for sensing applications, such as nanoscale measurements in various fluid environments, examining functions within cell membranes or probing within nerves.

"Nanotubes allow you to probe things at the subcellular level," Cobden said.

The work was funded by the National Science Foundation, the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund, the UW Royalty Research Fund and the UW University Initiatives Fund.

####

About University of Washington
Founded in 1861, the University of Washington is one of the oldest state-supported institutions of higher education on the West Coast and is one of the preeminent research universities in the world.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
David Cobden
206-372-2456
206-543-2686

Copyright © University of Washington

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

Crystalline Fault Lines Provide Pathway for Solar Cell Current: New tomographic AFM imaging technique reveals that microstructural defects, generally thought to be detrimental, actually improve conductivity in cadmium telluride solar cells September 26th, 2016

Researchers at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology show that bending semiconductors generates electricity September 26th, 2016

Chains of nanogold forged with atomic precision September 23rd, 2016

Tattoo therapy could ease chronic disease: Rice-made nanoparticles tested at Baylor College of Medicine may help control autoimmune diseases September 23rd, 2016

Physics

New breed of optical soliton wave discovered September 9th, 2016

NREL discovery creates future opportunity in quantum computing: Research into perovskites looks beyond material's usage for efficient solar cells September 9th, 2016

Location matters in the self-assembly of nanoclusters: Iowa State University scientists have developed a new formulation to explain an aspect of the self-assembly of nanoclusters on surfaces that has broad applications for nanotechnology September 8th, 2016

University of Akron researchers find thin layers of water can become ice-like at room temperature: Results could lead to an assortment of anti-friction solutions August 30th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Crystalline Fault Lines Provide Pathway for Solar Cell Current: New tomographic AFM imaging technique reveals that microstructural defects, generally thought to be detrimental, actually improve conductivity in cadmium telluride solar cells September 26th, 2016

Tattoo therapy could ease chronic disease: Rice-made nanoparticles tested at Baylor College of Medicine may help control autoimmune diseases September 23rd, 2016

PHENOMEN is a FET-Open Research Project aiming to lay the foundations a new information technology September 19th, 2016

NIST Patents Single-Photon Detector for Potential Encryption and Sensing Apps September 16th, 2016

Possible Futures

Crystalline Fault Lines Provide Pathway for Solar Cell Current: New tomographic AFM imaging technique reveals that microstructural defects, generally thought to be detrimental, actually improve conductivity in cadmium telluride solar cells September 26th, 2016

Researchers at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology show that bending semiconductors generates electricity September 26th, 2016

Chains of nanogold forged with atomic precision September 23rd, 2016

Tattoo therapy could ease chronic disease: Rice-made nanoparticles tested at Baylor College of Medicine may help control autoimmune diseases September 23rd, 2016

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

Semiconducting inorganic double helix: New flexible semiconductor for electronics, solar technology and photo catalysis September 15th, 2016

World's most powerful X-ray takes a 'sledgehammer' to molecules September 14th, 2016

Researchers design solids that control heat with spinning superatoms: Carnegie Mellon University and Columbia University collaborators discover the cause of vastly different thermal conductivities in superatomic structural analogues September 8th, 2016

For first time, carbon nanotube transistors outperform silicon September 8th, 2016

Nanomedicine

Tattoo therapy could ease chronic disease: Rice-made nanoparticles tested at Baylor College of Medicine may help control autoimmune diseases September 23rd, 2016

BBI Solutions launches innovative conjugate blocking technology that enhances signal intensity for lateral flow immunoassays September 20th, 2016

Iran to hold intl. school on application of nanomaterials in medicine September 20th, 2016

Graphene nanoribbons show promise for healing spinal injuries: Rice University scientists develop Texas-PEG to help knit severed, damaged spinal cords September 19th, 2016

Sensors

Researchers at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology show that bending semiconductors generates electricity September 26th, 2016

Chains of nanogold forged with atomic precision September 23rd, 2016

Speedy bacteria detector could help prevent foodborne illnesses September 21st, 2016

NIST Patents Single-Photon Detector for Potential Encryption and Sensing Apps September 16th, 2016

Discoveries

Crystalline Fault Lines Provide Pathway for Solar Cell Current: New tomographic AFM imaging technique reveals that microstructural defects, generally thought to be detrimental, actually improve conductivity in cadmium telluride solar cells September 26th, 2016

Researchers at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology show that bending semiconductors generates electricity September 26th, 2016

Chains of nanogold forged with atomic precision September 23rd, 2016

Tattoo therapy could ease chronic disease: Rice-made nanoparticles tested at Baylor College of Medicine may help control autoimmune diseases September 23rd, 2016

Announcements

Crystalline Fault Lines Provide Pathway for Solar Cell Current: New tomographic AFM imaging technique reveals that microstructural defects, generally thought to be detrimental, actually improve conductivity in cadmium telluride solar cells September 26th, 2016

Researchers at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology show that bending semiconductors generates electricity September 26th, 2016

Chains of nanogold forged with atomic precision September 23rd, 2016

Tattoo therapy could ease chronic disease: Rice-made nanoparticles tested at Baylor College of Medicine may help control autoimmune diseases September 23rd, 2016

Nanobiotechnology

Tattoo therapy could ease chronic disease: Rice-made nanoparticles tested at Baylor College of Medicine may help control autoimmune diseases September 23rd, 2016

BBI Solutions launches innovative conjugate blocking technology that enhances signal intensity for lateral flow immunoassays September 20th, 2016

Iran to hold intl. school on application of nanomaterials in medicine September 20th, 2016

Graphene nanoribbons show promise for healing spinal injuries: Rice University scientists develop Texas-PEG to help knit severed, damaged spinal cords September 19th, 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