Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Argonne scientists watch the birth of nanoparticles for the first time

These silver nanoplates are decorated with silver oxy salt nanoparticles along the edges. These nanostructures were grown under irradiation of high-energy x-rays, which allowed scientists to "watch" them grow in real time. The image is from a scanning electron microscope.
These silver nanoplates are decorated with silver oxy salt nanoparticles along the edges. These nanostructures were grown under irradiation of high-energy x-rays, which allowed scientists to "watch" them grow in real time. The image is from a scanning electron microscope.

Abstract:
A team of scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and the Carnegie Institution of Washington has succeeded in "watching" nanoparticles grow in real time.

Argonne scientists watch the birth of nanoparticles for the first time

Argonne, IL | Posted on October 20th, 2010

The revolutionary technique allows researchers to learn about the early stages of nanoparticle generation, long a mystery due to inadequate probing methods, and could lead to improved performance of the nanomaterials in applications including solar cells, sensing and more.

"Nanocrystal growth is the foundation of nanotechnology," said lead researcher Yugang Sun, an Argonne chemist. "Understanding it will allow scientists to more precisely tailor new and fascinating nanoparticle properties."

The way that nanoparticles look and behave depends on their architecture: size, shape, texture and surface chemistry. This, in turn, depends very much on the conditions under which they are grown.

"Accurately controlling nanoparticles is very difficult," Sun explained. "It's even harder to reproduce the same nanoparticles from batch to batch, because we still don't know all the conditions for the recipe. Temperature, pressure, humidity, impurities—they all affect growth, and we keep discovering more factors."

In order to understand how nanoparticles grow, the scientists needed to actually watch them in the act. The problem was that electron microscopy, the usual method for seeing down into the atomic level of nanoparticles, requires a vacuum. But many kinds of nanocrystals have to grow in a liquid medium—and the vacuum in an electron microscope makes this impossible. A special thin cell allows a tiny amount of liquid to be analyzed in an electron microscope, but it still limited the researchers to a liquid layer just 100 nanometers thick, which is significantly different from the real conditions for nanoparticle synthesis.

To solve this conundrum, Sun found he needed to use the very high-energy X-rays provided at Sector 1 of Argonne's Advanced Photon Source (APS), which adjoins the laboratory's Center for Nanoscale Materials, where he works. The pattern of X-rays scattered by the sample allowed the researchers to reconstruct the earliest stages of nanocrystals second-by-second.

"This technique yields a treasure trove of information, especially on the nucleation and growth steps of the crystals, that we had never been able to get before," said Sun.

The intensity of the X-rays does affect the growth of the nanocrystals, Sun said, but the effects only became significant after an especially long reaction time. "Getting a clear image of the growth process will allow us to control samples to get better results, and eventually, new nanomaterials that will have a wide range of applications," Sun explained.

The nanomaterials could be used in photovoltaic solar cells, chemical and biological sensors and even imaging. For example, noble metal nanoplates can absorb near-infrared light, so they can be used to enhance contrast in images. In one possible case, an injection of specially tailored nanoparticles near a cancer patient's tumor site could increase the imaging contrast between normal and cancerous cells so that doctors can accurately map the tumor.

"The key to this breakthrough was the unique ability for us to work with scientists from the Advanced Photon Source, the Center for Nanoscale Materials and the Electron Microscopy Center—all in one place," Sun said.

Funding for the research was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. The article, "Nanophase Evolution at Semiconductor/Electrolyte Interface in Situ Probed by Time-Resolved High-Energy Synchrotron X-ray Diffraction", was published in NanoLetters.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Jared Sagoff
630/252-5549

Copyright © Argonne National Laboratory

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

Shape matters when light meets atom: Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices December 4th, 2016

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses: Medicine diffusion capsule could locally treat multiple ailments and diseases over several weeks December 3rd, 2016

Novel Electrode Structure Provides New Promise for Lithium-Sulfur Batteries December 3rd, 2016

Research Study: MetaSOLTM Shatters Solar Panel Efficiency Forecasts with Innovative New Coating: Coating Provides 1.2 Percent Absolute Enhancement to Triple Junction Solar Cells December 2nd, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Shape matters when light meets atom: Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices December 4th, 2016

Research Study: MetaSOLTM Shatters Solar Panel Efficiency Forecasts with Innovative New Coating: Coating Provides 1.2 Percent Absolute Enhancement to Triple Junction Solar Cells December 2nd, 2016

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Quantum obstacle course changes material from superconductor to insulator December 1st, 2016

Possible Futures

Shape matters when light meets atom: Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices December 4th, 2016

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses: Medicine diffusion capsule could locally treat multiple ailments and diseases over several weeks December 3rd, 2016

Novel Electrode Structure Provides New Promise for Lithium-Sulfur Batteries December 3rd, 2016

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Nanomedicine

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses: Medicine diffusion capsule could locally treat multiple ailments and diseases over several weeks December 3rd, 2016

Nanobiotix Provides Update on Global Development of Lead Product NBTXR3: Seven clinical trials across the world: More than 2/3 of STS patients recruited in the “act.in.sarc” Phase II/III trial: Phase I/II prostate cancer trial now recruiting in the U.S. November 28th, 2016

From champagne bubbles, dance parties and disease to new nanomaterials: Understanding nucleation of protein filaments might help with Alzheimer's Disease and type 2 Diabetes November 24th, 2016

Nanopolymer-modified protein array can pinpoint hard-to-find cancer biomarker November 17th, 2016

Sensors

Shape matters when light meets atom: Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices December 4th, 2016

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Tip-assisted chemistry enables chemical reactions at femtoliter scale November 16th, 2016

'Back to the Future' inspires solar nanotech-powered clothing November 15th, 2016

Materials/Metamaterials

Inside tiny tubes, water turns solid when it should be boiling: MIT researchers discover astonishing behavior of water confined in carbon nanotubes November 30th, 2016

From champagne bubbles, dance parties and disease to new nanomaterials: Understanding nucleation of protein filaments might help with Alzheimer's Disease and type 2 Diabetes November 24th, 2016

Uncovering the secrets of friction on graphene: Sliding on flexible graphene surfaces has been uncharted territory until now November 23rd, 2016

2-D material a brittle surprise: Rice University researchers finds molybdenum diselenide not as strong as they thought November 14th, 2016

Announcements

Shape matters when light meets atom: Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices December 4th, 2016

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses: Medicine diffusion capsule could locally treat multiple ailments and diseases over several weeks December 3rd, 2016

Novel Electrode Structure Provides New Promise for Lithium-Sulfur Batteries December 3rd, 2016

Research Study: MetaSOLTM Shatters Solar Panel Efficiency Forecasts with Innovative New Coating: Coating Provides 1.2 Percent Absolute Enhancement to Triple Junction Solar Cells December 2nd, 2016

Energy

Research Study: MetaSOLTM Shatters Solar Panel Efficiency Forecasts with Innovative New Coating: Coating Provides 1.2 Percent Absolute Enhancement to Triple Junction Solar Cells December 2nd, 2016

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Throwing new light on printed organic solar cells December 1st, 2016

Physics, photosynthesis and solar cells: Researchers combine quantum physics and photosynthesis to make discovery that could lead to highly efficient, green solar cells November 30th, 2016

Nanobiotechnology

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Nanobiotix Provides Update on Global Development of Lead Product NBTXR3: Seven clinical trials across the world: More than 2/3 of STS patients recruited in the “act.in.sarc” Phase II/III trial: Phase I/II prostate cancer trial now recruiting in the U.S. November 28th, 2016

From champagne bubbles, dance parties and disease to new nanomaterials: Understanding nucleation of protein filaments might help with Alzheimer's Disease and type 2 Diabetes November 24th, 2016

Making spintronic neurons sing in unison November 18th, 2016

Solar/Photovoltaic

Research Study: MetaSOLTM Shatters Solar Panel Efficiency Forecasts with Innovative New Coating: Coating Provides 1.2 Percent Absolute Enhancement to Triple Junction Solar Cells December 2nd, 2016

Throwing new light on printed organic solar cells December 1st, 2016

Physics, photosynthesis and solar cells: Researchers combine quantum physics and photosynthesis to make discovery that could lead to highly efficient, green solar cells November 30th, 2016

'Back to the Future' inspires solar nanotech-powered clothing November 15th, 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