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

Two-dimensional melting of hard spheres experimentally unravelled after 60 years: First definitive experimental evidence of two-dimensional melting of hard spheres April 21st, 2017

National Conference on Nanomaterials, (NCN-2017) April 21st, 2017

NanoMONITOR shares its latest developments concerning the NanoMONITOR Software and the Monitoring stations April 21st, 2017

Nanomechanics, Inc. Unveils New Product at ICMCTF Show April 25th: Nanoindentation experts will launch the new Gemini that measures the interaction of two objects that are sliding across each other – not merely making contact April 21st, 2017

Physics

NIST physicists show ion pairs perform enhanced 'spooky action' March 30th, 2017

Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms: In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport February 20th, 2017

Research reveals novel quantum state in strange insulating materials February 14th, 2017

Sorting machine for atoms:Researchers at the University of Bonn clear a further hurdle on the path to creating quantum computers February 10th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

NanoMONITOR shares its latest developments concerning the NanoMONITOR Software and the Monitoring stations April 21st, 2017

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

Nano-SPEARs gently measure electrical signals in small animals: Rice University's tiny needles simplify data gathering to probe diseases, test drugs April 17th, 2017

Emergency Use Authorization for Gene-RADAR® Zika Virus Test: FDA Authorization for the Gene-RADAR® Zika Virus Test on the XPRIZE-Winning Gene-RADAR® Platform April 14th, 2017

Possible Futures

Two-dimensional melting of hard spheres experimentally unravelled after 60 years: First definitive experimental evidence of two-dimensional melting of hard spheres April 21st, 2017

Rice crew revved for Nanocar Race: Nanocar creator James Tour and team take on international competition with single-molecule marvel April 20th, 2017

Making Batteries From Waste Glass Bottles: UCR researchers are turning glass bottles into high performance lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and personal electronics April 19th, 2017

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

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

Nanotubes that build themselves April 14th, 2017

Intertronics introduce new nanoparticle deagglomeration technology March 15th, 2017

Boron atoms stretch out, gain new powers: Rice University simulations demonstrate 1-D material's stiffness, electrical versatility January 26th, 2017

New stem cell technique shows promise for bone repair January 25th, 2017

Nanomedicine

Arrowhead Presents ARC-520 and ARC-521 Clinical Data at The International Liver Congress(TM) April 20th, 2017

Nano-SPEARs gently measure electrical signals in small animals: Rice University's tiny needles simplify data gathering to probe diseases, test drugs April 17th, 2017

Nanotubes that build themselves April 14th, 2017

Emergency Use Authorization for Gene-RADAR® Zika Virus Test: FDA Authorization for the Gene-RADAR® Zika Virus Test on the XPRIZE-Winning Gene-RADAR® Platform April 14th, 2017

Sensors

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

New technology could offer cheaper, faster food testing: Specialized droplets interact with bacteria and can be analyzed using a smartphone April 7th, 2017

Discoveries

Two-dimensional melting of hard spheres experimentally unravelled after 60 years: First definitive experimental evidence of two-dimensional melting of hard spheres April 21st, 2017

Wood filter removes toxic dye from water April 21st, 2017

Rice crew revved for Nanocar Race: Nanocar creator James Tour and team take on international competition with single-molecule marvel April 20th, 2017

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

Announcements

Two-dimensional melting of hard spheres experimentally unravelled after 60 years: First definitive experimental evidence of two-dimensional melting of hard spheres April 21st, 2017

National Conference on Nanomaterials, (NCN-2017) April 21st, 2017

NanoMONITOR shares its latest developments concerning the NanoMONITOR Software and the Monitoring stations April 21st, 2017

Nanomechanics, Inc. Unveils New Product at ICMCTF Show April 25th: Nanoindentation experts will launch the new Gemini that measures the interaction of two objects that are sliding across each other – not merely making contact April 21st, 2017

Nanobiotechnology

Arrowhead Presents ARC-520 and ARC-521 Clinical Data at The International Liver Congress(TM) April 20th, 2017

Nano-SPEARs gently measure electrical signals in small animals: Rice University's tiny needles simplify data gathering to probe diseases, test drugs April 17th, 2017

Nanotubes that build themselves April 14th, 2017

Emergency Use Authorization for Gene-RADAR® Zika Virus Test: FDA Authorization for the Gene-RADAR® Zika Virus Test on the XPRIZE-Winning Gene-RADAR® Platform April 14th, 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