Nanotechnology Now





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Understanding tiny reactions

Launched laser-cooled atoms are captured by a single, suspended, single-wall carbon nanotube charged to hundreds of volts. A captured atom spirals toward the nanotube (white path) and reaches the environs of the tube surface, where its valence electron (yellow) tunnels into the tube. The resulting ion (purple) is ejected and detected, and the dynamics at the nanoscale are sensitively probed. Credit: Anne Goodsell and Tommi Hakala/Harvard University
Launched laser-cooled atoms are captured by a single, suspended, single-wall carbon nanotube charged to hundreds of volts. A captured atom spirals toward the nanotube (white path) and reaches the environs of the tube surface, where its valence electron (yellow) tunnels into the tube. The resulting ion (purple) is ejected and detected, and the dynamics at the nanoscale are sensitively probed. Credit: Anne Goodsell and Tommi Hakala/Harvard University

Abstract:
Cold atoms and nanotubes come together in atomic 'black hole'

By Steve Bradt, Harvard Staff Writer

Understanding tiny reactions

Cambridge, MA | Posted on April 8th, 2010

Carbon nanotubes, long touted for applications in electronics and in materials, may also be the stuff of atomic-scale black holes.

Physicists at Harvard University have found that a high-voltage nanotube (a tiny tubelike structure) can cause cold atoms to spiral inward under dramatic acceleration before disintegrating violently. The physicists' experiments, which are the first to demonstrate something akin to a black hole at atomic scale, are described in the current issue of the journal Physical Review Letters.

"On a scale of nanometers, we create an inexorable and destructive pull similar to what black holes exert on matter at cosmic scales," said Lene Vestergaard Hau, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics at Harvard. "As importantly for scientists, this is the first merging of cold atom and nanoscale science, and it opens the door to a new generation of cold atom experiments and nanoscale devices."

Hau and co-authors Anne Goodsell, Trygve Ristroph, and Jene A. Golovchenko laser-cooled clouds of 1 million rubidium atoms to just a fraction of a degree above absolute zero. The physicists then launched this millimeter-long atomic cloud toward a suspended carbon nanotube, located some two centimeters away and charged to hundreds of volts.

The vast majority of the atoms passed right by the wire, but those that came within a micron of it — roughly 10 atoms in every million-atom cloud — were inescapably attracted, reaching high speeds as they spiraled toward the nanotube.

"From a start at about 5 meters per second, the cold atoms reach speeds of roughly 1,200 meters per second, or more than 2,700 miles per hour, as they circle the nanotube," said Goodsell, a graduate student on the project and now a postdoctoral researcher in physics at Harvard. "As part of this tremendous acceleration, the temperature corresponding to the atoms' kinetic energy increases from 0.1 degrees Kelvin to thousands of degrees Kelvin in less than a microsecond."

At this point, the speeding atoms separate into an electron and an ion rotating in parallel around the nanowire, completing each orbit in just a few trillionths of a second. The electron eventually gets sucked into the nanotube via quantum tunneling, causing its companion ion to shoot away — repelled by the strong charge of the 300-volt nanotube — at a speed of roughly 26 kilometers per second, or 59,000 miles per hour.

The experiment was conducted with great precision, allowing the scientists unprecedented access to both cold atom and nanoscale processes.

"Cold atom and nanoscale science have each provided exciting new systems for study and applications," said Golovchenko, Rumford Professor of Physics and Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics at Harvard. "This is the first experimental realization of a combined cold atom-nanostructure system. Our system demonstrates sensitive probing of atom, electron, and ion dynamics at the nanoscale."

The single-walled carbon nanotube used in these researchers' successful experiment was dubbed "Lucy," and its contributions are acknowledged in the Physical Review Letters paper. The nanotube was grown by chemical vapor deposition across a 10-micron gap in a silicon chip that provides the nanowire with both mechanical support and electrical contact.

"From the atom's point of view, the nanotube is infinitely long and thin, creating a singular effect on the atom," Hau said.

The work was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the National Science Foundation.

####

For more information, please click here

Copyright © Harvard University

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

Squeezed quantum cats May 28th, 2015

New chip makes testing for antibiotic-resistant bacteria faster, easier: Researchers at the University of Toronto design diagnostic chip to reduce testing time from days to one hour, allowing doctors to pick the right antibiotic the first time May 28th, 2015

Collaboration could lead to biodegradable computer chips May 28th, 2015

Arrowhead to Present at Jefferies 2015 Healthcare Conference May 27th, 2015

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Collaboration could lead to biodegradable computer chips May 28th, 2015

Nanotechnology identifies brain tumor types through MRI 'virtual biopsy' in animal studies: If results are confirmed in humans, tumor cells could someday be diagnosed by MRI imaging and treated with tumor-specific IV injections; new NIH grant will fund future study May 27th, 2015

Who needs water to assemble DNA? Non-aqueous solvent supports DNA nanotechnology May 27th, 2015

One step closer to a single-molecule device: Columbia Engineering researchers first to create a single-molecule diode -- the ultimate in miniaturization for electronic devices -- with potential for real-world applications May 25th, 2015

Academic/Education

SUNY Poly CNSE and NIOSH Launch Federal Nano Health and Safety Consortium: May 20th, 2015

New JEOL E-Beam Lithography System to Enhance Quantum NanoFab Capabilities May 6th, 2015

FEI Partners With the George Washington University to Equip New Science & Engineering Hall: Suite of new high-performance microscopes will be used for cutting-edge experiments at GW’s new research facility April 29th, 2015

Renishaw Raman systems used to study 2D materials at Boston University, Massachusetts, USA. April 28th, 2015

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

Basel physicists develop efficient method of signal transmission from nanocomponents May 23rd, 2015

Researchers develop new way to manufacture nanofibers May 21st, 2015

Sandia researchers first to measure thermoelectric behavior by 'Tinkertoy' materials May 20th, 2015

Cotton fibres instead of carbon nanotubes May 9th, 2015

Discoveries

Squeezed quantum cats May 28th, 2015

New chip makes testing for antibiotic-resistant bacteria faster, easier: Researchers at the University of Toronto design diagnostic chip to reduce testing time from days to one hour, allowing doctors to pick the right antibiotic the first time May 28th, 2015

Collaboration could lead to biodegradable computer chips May 28th, 2015

Who needs water to assemble DNA? Non-aqueous solvent supports DNA nanotechnology May 27th, 2015

Announcements

Squeezed quantum cats May 28th, 2015

New chip makes testing for antibiotic-resistant bacteria faster, easier: Researchers at the University of Toronto design diagnostic chip to reduce testing time from days to one hour, allowing doctors to pick the right antibiotic the first time May 28th, 2015

Collaboration could lead to biodegradable computer chips May 28th, 2015

Controlled Release of Anticorrosive Materials in Spot by Nanocarriers May 27th, 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