Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > U of T Engineers Help Build an Antenna for Light

Abstract:
University of Toronto researchers have derived inspiration from the photosynthetic apparatus in plants to engineer a new generation of nanomaterials that control and direct the energy absorbed from light.

U of T Engineers Help Build an Antenna for Light

Toronto, Canada | Posted on July 11th, 2011

Their findings are reported in a forthcoming issue of Nature Nanotechnology, which will be released on July 10, 2011.

The U of T researchers, led by Professors Shana Kelley and Ted Sargent, report the construction of what they term "artificial molecules."

"Nanotechnologists have for many years been captivated by quantum dots - particles of semiconductor that can absorb and emit light efficiently, and at custom-chosen wavelengths," explained co-author Kelley, a Professor at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, the Department of Biochemistry in the Faculty of Medicine, and the Department of Chemistry in the Faculty of Arts & Science. "What the community has lacked - until now - is a strategy to build higher-order structures, or complexes, out of multiple different types of quantum dots. This discovery fills that gap."

The team combined its expertise in DNA and in semiconductors to invent a generalized strategy to bind certain classes of nanoparticles to one another.

"The credit for this remarkable result actually goes to DNA: its high degree of specificity - its willingness to bind only to a complementary sequence - enabled us to build rationally-engineered, designer structures out of nanomaterials," said Sargent, a Professor in The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto, who is also the Canada Research Chair in Nanotechnology. "The amazing thing is that our antennas built themselves - we coated different classes of nanoparticles with selected sequences of DNA, combined the different families in one beaker, and nature took its course. The result is a beautiful new set of self-assembled materials with exciting properties."

Traditional antennas increase the amount of an electromagnetic wave - such as a radio frequency - that is absorbed, and then funnel that energy to a circuit. The U of T nanoantennas instead increased the amount of light that is absorbed and funneled it to a single site within their molecule-like complexes. This concept is already used in nature in light harvesting antennas, constituents of leaves that make photosynthesis efficient. "Like the antennas in radios and mobile phones, our complexes captured dispersed energy and concentrated it to a desired location. Like the light harvesting antennas in the leaves of a tree, our complexes do so using wavelengths found in sunlight," explained Sargent.

"Professors Kelley and Sargent have invented a novel class of materials with entirely new properties. Their insight and innovative research demonstrates why the University of Toronto leads in the field of nanotechnology," said Professor Henry Mann, Dean of the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy.

"This is a terrific piece of work that demonstrates our growing ability to assemble precise structures, to tailor their properties, and to build in the capability to control these properties using external stimuli," noted Paul S. Weiss, Fred Kavli Chair in NanoSystems Sciences at UCLA and Director of the California NanoSystems Institute.

Kelley explained that the concept published in today's Nature Nanotechnology paper is a broad one that goes beyond light antennas alone.

"What this work shows is that our capacity to manipulate materials at the nanoscale is limited only by human imagination. If semiconductor quantum dots are artificial atoms, then we have rationally synthesized artificial molecules from these versatile building blocks."

Also contributing to the paper were researchers Sjoerd Hoogland and Armin Fischer of The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, and Grigory Tikhomirov and P. E. Lee of the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy.

The publication was based in part on work supported by the Ontario Research Fund Research Excellence Program, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Canada Research Chairs program and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering
University of Toronto
35 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1A4
Canada

Takara Small
Communications & Media Relations Coordinator
416-946-7257


Gary Schlee
Communications & Media Relations Coordinator
416-946-7257

Copyright © University of Toronto

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

Making magnets flip like cats at room temperature: Heusler alloy NiMnSb could prove valuable as a new material for digital information processing and storage July 25th, 2016

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

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

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

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

Weird quantum effects stretch across hundreds of miles July 21st, 2016

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

Self Assembly

WSU researchers develop shape-changing 'smart' material: Heat, light stimulate self-assembly July 4th, 2016

Building a smart cardiac patch: 'Bionic' cardiac patch could one day monitor and respond to cardiac problems June 28th, 2016

Self-assembling icosahedral protein designed: Self-assembling icosahedral protein designed June 22nd, 2016

DNA shaping up to be ideal framework for rationally designed nanostructures: Shaped DNA frames that precisely link nanoparticles into different structures offer a platform for designing functional nanomaterials June 14th, 2016

Discoveries

Making magnets flip like cats at room temperature: Heusler alloy NiMnSb could prove valuable as a new material for digital information processing and storage July 25th, 2016

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

Announcements

Making magnets flip like cats at room temperature: Heusler alloy NiMnSb could prove valuable as a new material for digital information processing and storage July 25th, 2016

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

Energy

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

Researchers discover key mechanism for producing solar cells: Better understanding of perovskite solar cells could boost widespread use July 21st, 2016

The future of perovskite solar cells has just got brighter -- come rain or shine: Korean researchers at POSTECH have succeeded in developing high-efficiency perovskite solar cells that retain excellent performance over two months in a very humid condition July 21st, 2016

Scientists develop way to upsize nanostructures into light, flexible 3-D printed materials: Virginia Tech, Livermore National Lab researchers develop hierarchical 3-D printed metallic materials July 20th, 2016

Solar/Photovoltaic

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

Researchers discover key mechanism for producing solar cells: Better understanding of perovskite solar cells could boost widespread use July 21st, 2016

The future of perovskite solar cells has just got brighter -- come rain or shine: Korean researchers at POSTECH have succeeded in developing high-efficiency perovskite solar cells that retain excellent performance over two months in a very humid condition July 21st, 2016

Scientists develop way to upsize nanostructures into light, flexible 3-D printed materials: Virginia Tech, Livermore National Lab researchers develop hierarchical 3-D printed metallic materials July 20th, 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