Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Nanotechnologists create ‘molecular glass fibres’

Abstract:
Light transported by cable a thousand times thinner than a human hair

Nanotechnologists create ‘molecular glass fibres’

The Netherlands | Posted on June 18th, 2010

Nanotechnologists from the MESA+ research institute of the University of Twente have discovered that the photosynthesis system of bacteria can be used to transport light over relatively long distances. They have developed a type of 'molecular glass fibre', a thousand times thinner than a human hair. The results of their research are published in the April edition of the leading journal Nano Letters.

All plants and some bacteria use photosynthesis to store energy from the sun. Researchers from the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology of the University of Twente have now discovered how parts of the photosynthesis system of bacteria can be used to transport light. In their experiments the researchers used isolated proteins from the so-called Light Harvesting Complex (LHC). These proteins transport the sunlight in the cells of plants and bacteria to a place in the cell where the solar energy is stored. The researchers built a type of 'molecular glass fibre' from the LHC proteins that is a thousand times thinner than a human hair.

Thread

In the experiment the researchers fastened the proteins onto a fixed background. They positioned them in a line, and in this way formed a thread. They then shone laser light to one point in the thread, and observed where the light went to. The line with the LHC proteins did not only transport the light, but transported it over much longer distances than the researchers had initially expected. Distances of around 50 nanometres are normally bridged in the bacteria from which the LHC proteins were isolated. In the researchers' experiments the light covered distances at least thirty times greater.

Learning from nature

According to Cees Otto, one of the researchers involved, we can learn a lot from nature in experiments such as this. "The LHC proteins are the building blocks that nature gives us, and using then we can learn more about natural processes such as the transport of light in photosynthesis. When we understand how nature works, we can then imitate it. In time we will be able to use this principle in, for example, solar panels."

More information

The article 'Long-Range Energy Propagation in Nanometre Arrays of Light Harvesting Antenna Complexes' by Maryana Escalante, Aufried Lenferink, Yiping Zhao, Niels Tas, Jurriaan Huskens, Neil Hunter, Vinod Subramaniam and Cees Otto was published in the April edition of the scientific journal Nano Letters. The research was carried out within the Nanobiophysics, Medical Cell Biophysics, Molecular Nanofabrication and Transducers Science and Technology research group of the MESA+ research institute of the University of Twente. The research was carried out in partnership with the University of Sheffield, and fully financed by NanoNed. A digital version of the article is available on request.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Joost Bruysters
+ 31 53 - 4892773

Copyright © University of Twente

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

Spin current detection in quantum materials unlocks potential for alternative electronics October 15th, 2017

Quantum manipulation power for quantum information processing gets a boost: Improving the efficiency of quantum heat engines involves reducing the number of photons in a cavity, ultimately impacting quantum manipulation power October 14th, 2017

Injecting electrons jolts 2-D structure into new atomic pattern: Berkeley Lab study is first to show potential of energy-efficient next-gen electronic memory October 13th, 2017

The secret to improving liquid crystal's mechanical performance: Better lubricating properties of lamellar liquid crystals could stem from changing the mobility of their structural dislocations by adding nanoparticles October 13th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Spin current detection in quantum materials unlocks potential for alternative electronics October 15th, 2017

Injecting electrons jolts 2-D structure into new atomic pattern: Berkeley Lab study is first to show potential of energy-efficient next-gen electronic memory October 13th, 2017

Rice U. lab surprised by ultraflat magnets: Researchers create atom-thick alloys with unanticipated magnetic properties October 13th, 2017

On the road to fire-free, lithium-ion batteries made with asphalt October 12th, 2017

Possible Futures

Spin current detection in quantum materials unlocks potential for alternative electronics October 15th, 2017

Quantum manipulation power for quantum information processing gets a boost: Improving the efficiency of quantum heat engines involves reducing the number of photons in a cavity, ultimately impacting quantum manipulation power October 14th, 2017

Injecting electrons jolts 2-D structure into new atomic pattern: Berkeley Lab study is first to show potential of energy-efficient next-gen electronic memory October 13th, 2017

The secret to improving liquid crystal's mechanical performance: Better lubricating properties of lamellar liquid crystals could stem from changing the mobility of their structural dislocations by adding nanoparticles October 13th, 2017

Academic/Education

Two Scientists Receive Grants to Develop New Materials: Chad Mirkin and Monica Olvera de la Cruz recognized by Sherman Fairchild Foundation August 16th, 2017

Moving at the Speed of Light: University of Arizona selected for high-impact, industrial demonstration of new integrated photonic cryogenic datalink for focal plane arrays: Program is major milestone for AIM Photonics August 10th, 2017

Graduate Students from Across the Country Attend Hands-on NanoCamp: Prominent scientists Warren Oliver, Ph.D., and George Pharr, Ph.D., presented a weeklong NanoCamp for hand-picked graduate students across the United States July 26th, 2017

The Physics Department of Imperial College, London, uses the Quorum Q150T to deposit metals and ITO to make plasmonic sensors and electric contact pads July 13th, 2017

Discoveries

Spin current detection in quantum materials unlocks potential for alternative electronics October 15th, 2017

Injecting electrons jolts 2-D structure into new atomic pattern: Berkeley Lab study is first to show potential of energy-efficient next-gen electronic memory October 13th, 2017

The secret to improving liquid crystal's mechanical performance: Better lubricating properties of lamellar liquid crystals could stem from changing the mobility of their structural dislocations by adding nanoparticles October 13th, 2017

Rice U. lab surprised by ultraflat magnets: Researchers create atom-thick alloys with unanticipated magnetic properties October 13th, 2017

Announcements

Spin current detection in quantum materials unlocks potential for alternative electronics October 15th, 2017

Quantum manipulation power for quantum information processing gets a boost: Improving the efficiency of quantum heat engines involves reducing the number of photons in a cavity, ultimately impacting quantum manipulation power October 14th, 2017

Injecting electrons jolts 2-D structure into new atomic pattern: Berkeley Lab study is first to show potential of energy-efficient next-gen electronic memory October 13th, 2017

The secret to improving liquid crystal's mechanical performance: Better lubricating properties of lamellar liquid crystals could stem from changing the mobility of their structural dislocations by adding nanoparticles October 13th, 2017

Solar/Photovoltaic

New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater: Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions October 4th, 2017

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells September 22nd, 2017

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene: Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis September 19th, 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