Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > High definition diagnostic ultrasonics on the nanoscale

Abstract:
Scientists and Engineers at The University of Nottingham have built the world's smallest ultrasonic transducers capable of generating and detecting ultrasound.

High definition diagnostic ultrasonics on the nanoscale

Nottingham | Posted on August 17th, 2010

These revolutionary transducers which are orders of magnitude smaller than current systems — are so tiny that up to 500 of the smallest ones could be placed across the width of one human hair.

While at an early stage these devices offer a myriad of possibilities for imaging and measuring at scales a thousand times smaller than conventional ultrasonics. They can be made so small they could be placed inside cells to perform intracellular ultrasonics. They can produce ultrasound of such a high frequency that its wavelength is smaller than that of visible light. Theoretically they make it possible for ultrasonic images to take finer pictures than the most powerful optical microscopes.

The work, by the Applied Optics Group in the Division of Electrical Systems and Optics has been deemed so potentially innovative that last year it was awarded a £850,000 five year Platform Grant by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to develop advanced ultrasonic techniques. The team has also been supported by additional funding of £350,000 from an EPSRC grant to underpin aerospace research.

Matt Clark, of the Applied Optics Group, said: "With the rise of nanotechnology you need more powerful diagnostic tools, especially ones that can operate non-destructively and ones which can be used to access the mechanical and chemical properties of the samples at this scale. These new transducers are hugely exciting and bring the power of ultrasonics to the nanoscale."

The ultrasonic transducers consist of sandwich or shell like structures carefully engineered to possess both optical and ultrasonic resonances. When they are hit by a pulse of laser light they are set ringing at high frequency which launches ultrasonic waves into the sample. When they are excited by ultrasound the transducers are very slightly deformed and this changes their optical resonances which are detected by a laser.

The devices can be constructed either by micro/nano lithography techniques similar to those used for microchips or by molecular self assembly where the transducers are constructed chemically.
Perhaps the most familiar application of ultrasonics is medical imaging but it is also widely used in engineering applications and for chemical sensing. These tiny transducers open up the possibility of using these techniques on the smallest scales, for instance inside cells and on nano-engineered components.

Dr Clark said: "Imagine imaging inside cells in the same way that ultrasonic imaging is performed inside bodies. Theoretically we could get higher resolution with the nano-ultrasonics than you can with optical microscopes and the contrast would be very interesting. In addition the transducers can be made into highly sensitive chemical sensors — ultrasonics SAW sensors are used on the normal scale for electronic noses — this would allow you to distribute chemical sensors in tissue or in paint — so you could make paint with chemical sensors to detect corrosion or explosives in it."

The research was performed between the Division of Electrical Systems and Optics in the Faculty of Engineering and the School of Pharmacy.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Lindsay Brooke
Media Relations Manager

+44 (0)115 951 5751

Copyright © University of Nottingham

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

An accelerated pipeline to open materials research: ORNL workflow system unites imaging, algorithms, and HPC to advance materials discovery and design July 24th, 2016

Russian physicists discover a new approach for building quantum computers: Physicists find a way of 'bundling together' multiple elements of a quantum computer July 24th, 2016

A 'smart dress' for oil-degrading bacteria July 24th, 2016

New superconducting coil improves MRI performance: UH-led research offers higher resolution, shorter scan time July 23rd, 2016

Possible Futures

An accelerated pipeline to open materials research: ORNL workflow system unites imaging, algorithms, and HPC to advance materials discovery and design July 24th, 2016

Russian physicists discover a new approach for building quantum computers: Physicists find a way of 'bundling together' multiple elements of a quantum computer July 24th, 2016

A 'smart dress' for oil-degrading bacteria July 24th, 2016

New superconducting coil improves MRI performance: UH-led research offers higher resolution, shorter scan time July 23rd, 2016

Academic/Education

News from Quorum: The College of New Jersey use the Quorum Cryo-SEM preparation system in a project to study ice crystals in high altitude clouds July 19th, 2016

Leti and Korea Institute of Science and Technology to Explore Collaboration on Advanced Technologies for Digital Era July 14th, 2016

SUNY Poly Celebrates Its 10th Year Exhibiting at SEMICON West with Cutting Edge Developments in Integrated Photonics and Power Electronics July 8th, 2016

FEI and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Establish New Electron Microscopy ‘Centre of Excellence’: Centre of Excellence involves materials and life sciences research and technical collaboration July 5th, 2016

Nanomedicine

New remote-controlled microrobots for medical operations July 23rd, 2016

New superconducting coil improves MRI performance: UH-led research offers higher resolution, shorter scan time July 23rd, 2016

New probe developed for improved high resolution measurement of brain temperature: Improved accuracy could allow researchers to measure brain temperature in times of trauma when small deviations in temperature can lead to additional brain injury July 23rd, 2016

Nanoparticle versus cancer: Scientists have created nanoparticles which cure cancer harmlessly July 22nd, 2016

Sensors

Electron 'spin control' of levitated nanodiamonds could bring advances in sensors, quantum information processing July 20th, 2016

Easier, faster, cheaper: A full-filling approach to making nanotubes of consistent quality: Approach opens a straightforward route for engineering the properties of single-wall carbon nanotubes July 19th, 2016

Researchers invent 'smart' thread that collects diagnostic data when sutured into tissue: Advances could pave way for new generation of implantable and wearable diagnostics July 18th, 2016

UNIST engineers octopus-inspired smart adhesive pads July 15th, 2016

Announcements

An accelerated pipeline to open materials research: ORNL workflow system unites imaging, algorithms, and HPC to advance materials discovery and design July 24th, 2016

Russian physicists discover a new approach for building quantum computers: Physicists find a way of 'bundling together' multiple elements of a quantum computer July 24th, 2016

A 'smart dress' for oil-degrading bacteria July 24th, 2016

New superconducting coil improves MRI performance: UH-led research offers higher resolution, shorter scan time July 23rd, 2016

Tools

An accelerated pipeline to open materials research: ORNL workflow system unites imaging, algorithms, and HPC to advance materials discovery and design July 24th, 2016

New superconducting coil improves MRI performance: UH-led research offers higher resolution, shorter scan time July 23rd, 2016

The birth of quantum holography: Making holograms of single light particles! July 21st, 2016

A mini-antenna for the data processing of tomorrow: Nature Nanotechnology: Short-wavelength spin waves generated directly for the first time July 20th, 2016

Grants/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

New reaction for the synthesis of nanostructures July 21st, 2016

Scientists glimpse inner workings of atomically thin transistors July 21st, 2016

Smallest hard disk to date writes information atom by atom July 20th, 2016

Keystone Nano selected as a top scoring company by NCI investor review panel July 19th, 2016

Nanobiotechnology

New remote-controlled microrobots for medical operations July 23rd, 2016

Nanoparticle versus cancer: Scientists have created nanoparticles which cure cancer harmlessly July 22nd, 2016

New reaction for the synthesis of nanostructures July 21st, 2016

Research examines how to optimize nanoparticles for efficient drug delivery July 21st, 2016

Research partnerships

Quantum drag:University of Iowa physicist says current in one iron magnetic sheet can create quantized spin waves in another, separate sheet July 22nd, 2016

Rice's 'antenna-reactor' catalysts offer best of both worlds: Technology marries light-harvesting nanoantennas to high-reaction-rate catalysts July 18th, 2016

Researchers invent 'smart' thread that collects diagnostic data when sutured into tissue: Advances could pave way for new generation of implantable and wearable diagnostics July 18th, 2016

Leti and Korea Institute of Science and Technology to Explore Collaboration on Advanced Technologies for Digital Era July 14th, 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