Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > A new way to go from nanoparticles to supraparticles

“There’s a delicate balance you have to strike,” said Argonne physicist Byeongdu Lee, who led the characterization of the supraparticles using high-energy X-rays provided by Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source. “If the attractive Van der Waals force is too strong, all the nanoparticles will smash together at once, and you’ll end up with an ugly, disordered glass. But if the repulsive Coulomb force is too strong, they’ll never come together in the first place.”
Image courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory
“There’s a delicate balance you have to strike,” said Argonne physicist Byeongdu Lee, who led the characterization of the supraparticles using high-energy X-rays provided by Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source. “If the attractive Van der Waals force is too strong, all the nanoparticles will smash together at once, and you’ll end up with an ugly, disordered glass. But if the repulsive Coulomb force is too strong, they’ll never come together in the first place.”

Image courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory

Abstract:
Controlling the behavior of nanoparticles can be just as difficult trying to wrangle a group of teenagers. However, a new study involving the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory has given scientists insight into how tweaking a nanoparticle's attractive electronic qualities can lead to the creation of ordered uniform "supraparticles."

A new way to go from nanoparticles to supraparticles

Argonne, IL | Posted on September 19th, 2011

"There's a delicate balance you have to strike," said Argonne physicist Byeongdu Lee, who led the characterization of the supraparticles using high-energy X-rays provided by Argonne's Advanced Photon Source. "If the attractive Van der Waals force is too strong, all the nanoparticles will smash together at once, and you'll end up with an ugly, disordered glass. But if the repulsive Coulomb force is too strong, they'll never come together in the first place."

Researchers from the University of Michigan and China also collaborated on the study.

This problem of trying to achieve the right kind of balance has underpinned an entire field of colloidal research, according to Lee. But even if the right equilibrium is struck to promote the slow, steady growth of a supraparticle, up until now researchers have still had very little way of controlling the size of the particle that would grow. "If you were able to make the attractive force just a little stronger than the repulsive force, you'd see the growth of a crystal—but you wouldn't be able to dictate how big it grew," he said.

The Argonne research focused on finding a way for a supraparticle to automatically stop its own growth. Such a condition could only occur if the net attractive force of the nanoparticles toward the inside of the supraparticle was greater than that of the net attractive force of the nanoparticles that formed the edge of the supraparticle—a so-called "core-shell morphology."

Although core-shell morphologies had been observed in previous research, those earlier studies had concentrated on the types of supraparticles created by "monodisperse" nanoparticles—those that, like marbles, would share a common size and shape. "It's easier to make individuals cluster into larger groups if they have characteristics in common than if they don't," Lee said. "It is just like high school in that way."

Instead of sticking with monodispersity, however, the Argonne research focused instead on "polydisperse" nanoparticles—those with a wide variety of sizes, masses, and configurations. "The advantage with our technique is that there's no longer a need for monodispersity. You can mix two different components—like a metal and a semiconductor—and still see the same kind of controlled self-limiting assembly."

Although the research into supraparticles born from polydisperse collections of nanoparticles is still in its infancy, Lee and his colleagues believe that the methodology could find its way into a number of different applications, perhaps ranging from optics to drug delivery to photovoltaics. "When you work in nanotechnology, we have to ask ‘can we do this?' before we really know what our discovery will be useful for," explained Lee. "We hope that further investigation will open up new lines of discovery that we have not even conceived of yet."

An article based on the research appears in the September 2011 issue of Nature Nanotechnology. The research was funded by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences in the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the National Science Foundation, among others.

By Jared Sagoff

####

About Argonne National Laboratory
rgonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America's scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

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 Links

Follow Argonne on Twitter at:

Related News Press

News and information

Scientists synthesize nanoparticle-antioxidants to treat strokes and spinal cord injuries January 16th, 2018

New catalyst for hydrogen production is a step toward clean fuel: Carbon-based nanocomposite with embedded metal ions yields impressive performance as catalyst for electrolysis of water to generate hydrogen January 16th, 2018

'Gyroscope' molecules form crystal that's both solid and full of motion: New type of molecular machine designed by UCLA researchers could have wide-ranging applications in technology and science January 16th, 2018

The nanoscopic structure that locks up our genes January 16th, 2018

Physics

New exotic phenomena seen in photonic crystals: Researchers observe, for the first time, topological effects unique to an “open” system January 12th, 2018

Laboratories

Laboratory Management Web Application Goes Nationwide January 9th, 2018

NRL improves optical efficiency in nanophotonic devices January 4th, 2018

Tweaking quantum dots powers-up double-pane solar windows: Engineered quantum dots could bring down the cost of solar electricity January 2nd, 2018

'Quantum material' has shark-like ability to detect small electrical signals December 20th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

'Gyroscope' molecules form crystal that's both solid and full of motion: New type of molecular machine designed by UCLA researchers could have wide-ranging applications in technology and science January 16th, 2018

The nanoscopic structure that locks up our genes January 16th, 2018

New exotic phenomena seen in photonic crystals: Researchers observe, for the first time, topological effects unique to an “open” system January 12th, 2018

'Decorated' stem cells could offer targeted heart repair January 11th, 2018

Discoveries

Scientists synthesize nanoparticle-antioxidants to treat strokes and spinal cord injuries January 16th, 2018

New catalyst for hydrogen production is a step toward clean fuel: Carbon-based nanocomposite with embedded metal ions yields impressive performance as catalyst for electrolysis of water to generate hydrogen January 16th, 2018

'Gyroscope' molecules form crystal that's both solid and full of motion: New type of molecular machine designed by UCLA researchers could have wide-ranging applications in technology and science January 16th, 2018

The nanoscopic structure that locks up our genes January 16th, 2018

Announcements

Scientists synthesize nanoparticle-antioxidants to treat strokes and spinal cord injuries January 16th, 2018

New catalyst for hydrogen production is a step toward clean fuel: Carbon-based nanocomposite with embedded metal ions yields impressive performance as catalyst for electrolysis of water to generate hydrogen January 16th, 2018

'Gyroscope' molecules form crystal that's both solid and full of motion: New type of molecular machine designed by UCLA researchers could have wide-ranging applications in technology and science January 16th, 2018

The nanoscopic structure that locks up our genes January 16th, 2018

Military

New exotic phenomena seen in photonic crystals: Researchers observe, for the first time, topological effects unique to an “open” system January 12th, 2018

Nanotube fibers in a jiffy: Rice University lab makes short nanotube samples by hand to dramatically cut production time January 11th, 2018

Ultrafine fibers have exceptional strength: New technique developed at MIT could produce strong, resilient nanofibers for many applications January 5th, 2018

NRL improves optical efficiency in nanophotonic devices January 4th, 2018

Research partnerships

New catalyst for hydrogen production is a step toward clean fuel: Carbon-based nanocomposite with embedded metal ions yields impressive performance as catalyst for electrolysis of water to generate hydrogen January 16th, 2018

New era in high field superconducting magnets – opening new frontiers in science, nanotechnology and materials discovery January 9th, 2018

Touchy nanotubes work better when clean: Rice, Swansea scientists show that decontaminating nanotubes can simplify nanoscale devices January 4th, 2018

Study resolves controversy about electron structure of defects in graphene December 21st, 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