Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Solid Spheres

Abstract:
Nanospheres made of aromatic amino acids: The most rigid organic nanostructures to date

Solid Spheres

Weinheim, Germany | Posted on October 1st, 2010

Organic nanostructures are key elements of nanotechnology because these building blocks can be made with tailored chemical properties. Their disadvantage has been that their mechanical properties have so far been significantly inferior to those of metallic nanostructures. Ehud Gazit, Itay Rousso, and a team from the Tel Aviv University, the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Israel) have now introduced organic nanospheres that are as rigid as metal. As the scientists report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, they are interesting components for ultrarigid biocomposite materials.

Nanoscale biological structures often exhibit unique mechanical properties; for example spider silk is 25 times as strong as steel by weight. The most rigid synthetic organic materials known to date are aramids, such as Kevlar. Their secret is a special spatial arrangement of their aromatic ring systems and the network of interactions between their planar amide bonds. The new nanospheres are based on a similar construction principle. However, unlike the large polymeric chains, they are formed in a self-organization process from very simple molecules based on aromatic dipeptides of the amino acid phenylalanine.

Using an atomic force microscope, the scientists examined the mechanical properties of their nanospheres. This device uses a nanotip (cantilever), a tiny flexible lever arm with a very fine tip at the end. When this tip is pressed against a sample, the deflection of the lever indicates whether the tip of the needle can press into the sample object and how far in it can go. A metal needle was not able to make any impression on the nanospheres; only a needle made of diamond was able to do it. The researchers used these measurements to calculate the elasticity modulus (Young's modulus) for the nanospheres. This value is a measure of the stiffness of a material. The larger the value, the more resistance a material has to its deformation. By using a high-resolution scanning electron microscope equipped with a nanomanipulator, it was possible to directly observe the deformation of the spheres.

For the nanospheres, the team measured a remarkably high elasticity modulus (275 GPa), which is higher than many metals and similar to the values found for steel. This makes these nanostructures the stiffest organic molecules to date; they may even eclipse aramids. In addition to having outstanding mechanical properties, the nanospheres are also transparent. This makes them ideal elements for the reinforcement of ultrarigid biocomposite materials, such as reinforced plastics for implants or materials for tooth replacement, aerospace, and other applications that require inexpensive, lightweight materials with high stiffness and unusual stability.

Author: Ehud Gazit, Tel Aviv University (Israel), www.tau.ac.il/lifesci/departments/biotech/members/gazit/gazit.html

Title: Self-Assembled Organic Nanostructures with Metallic-Like Stiffness

Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Permalink to the article: dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201002037

####

For more information, please click here

Copyright © Angewandte Chemie International Edition

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

Tough foam from tiny sheets: Rice University lab uses atom-thick materials to make ultralight foam July 29th, 2014

Zenosense, Inc. July 29th, 2014

Optimum inertial design for self-propulsion: A new study investigates the effects of small but finite inertia on the propulsion of micro and nano-scale swimming machines July 29th, 2014

A new way to make microstructured surfaces: Method can produce strong, lightweight materials with specific surface properties July 29th, 2014

Chemistry

Tough foam from tiny sheets: Rice University lab uses atom-thick materials to make ultralight foam July 29th, 2014

Possible Futures

IBM Announces $3 Billion Research Initiative to Tackle Chip Grand Challenges for Cloud and Big Data Systems: Scientists and engineers to push limits of silicon technology to 7 nanometers and below and create post-silicon future July 10th, 2014

Virus structure inspires novel understanding of onion-like carbon nanoparticles April 10th, 2014

Local girl does good March 22nd, 2014

Surface Characteristics Influence Cellular Growth on Semiconductor Material March 12th, 2014

Academic/Education

Haydale Announces Collaboration Agreement with Swansea University’s Welsh Centre for Printing and Coatings (WCPC) July 12th, 2014

STFC takes delivery of the 100th Hitachi Tabletop SEM in the UK July 3rd, 2014

Innovation Management and the Emergence of the Nanobiotechnology Industry July 1st, 2014

Albany NanoCollege Faculty Member Selected as Editor-in-Chief of the Prestigious Journal of Electronic Materials July 1st, 2014

Materials/Metamaterials

Flexible Metamaterial Absorbers July 29th, 2014

Tough foam from tiny sheets: Rice University lab uses atom-thick materials to make ultralight foam July 29th, 2014

A new way to make microstructured surfaces: Method can produce strong, lightweight materials with specific surface properties July 29th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Use Waste Cotton Fibers to Produce Cellulose Nanoparticles July 29th, 2014

Announcements

Tough foam from tiny sheets: Rice University lab uses atom-thick materials to make ultralight foam July 29th, 2014

Zenosense, Inc. July 29th, 2014

Optimum inertial design for self-propulsion: A new study investigates the effects of small but finite inertia on the propulsion of micro and nano-scale swimming machines July 29th, 2014

A new way to make microstructured surfaces: Method can produce strong, lightweight materials with specific surface properties July 29th, 2014

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







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE