Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Northwestern researchers create nanomaterials that mimic structure of natural materials

Abstract:
A team of Northwestern scientists recently made considerable improvements in designing nanomaterials that can be used in various areas of research due to their unique physical properties.

Northwestern researchers create nanomaterials that mimic structure of natural materials

Chicago, IL | Posted on October 18th, 2011

Nanotechnologists under Prof. Chad Mirkin collaborated with theorists under Prof. George Schatz to create crystalline nanomaterials from nanoparticles and DNA.

Researchers in Mirkin's lab were first able to create these nanomaterials 15 years ago, but until recently, their structure did not resemble other natural crystalline materials, like silicon, Schatz said. This group of scientists, however, was able to work together to create materials possessing this structure, improving the quality and utility of such nanomaterials.

The goal of the research is to "bond" nanomaterials with strands of DNA, building new particles that can enhance fields like energy generation and biomedicine, according to a University press release. By creating this model, nanomaterials can be built into crystalline structures such as those found in nature.

"Now, there are more powerful things you can do with them," Schatz said. "You can use these kinds of materials for DNA and protein defectors and nucleic acids."

As a theorist, Schatz worked with graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to create a model designed to determine which structures will be created under which conditions.

"The key to the project was that the predictions of the model and synthesis agreed," Schatz said. "That meant the rules were correct."

Although Mirkin and Schatz concentrate in different scientific fields, they have worked together before. However, Schatz emphasized that the professors did not initiate this project.

"The project emerged through the interaction of students," he said. "Students were able to iterate in development of rules and models. That interaction led to the final result."

Graduate students Rob Macfarlane and Matt Jones from Mirkin's lab worked closely with Nadine Harris, a postdoctoral researcher from Schatz's lab, to design these crystalline lattice structures.

Macfarlane took on a similar project in 2008 and published a paper discussing ordered nanomaterials. He remained interested in further improving these nanomaterials even after many of his colleagues from the 2008 project left the University, and he reached out to James and Harris, whose respective interests in triangular particles and theoretics complemented his work in spherical particles.

"When each of us needs someone else's expertise, we go to them," Macfarlane said. "One of the great things about Northwestern University science is it's very collaborative. At other places, people have their niches. Here, everyone helps out."

Jones said the project required a team with expertise of scientific concepts from different fields.

"You need people who understand DNA, material scientists and theorists," he said. "It builds on a lot of different disciplines. It could really only happen at a place like Northwestern."

According to Schatz, this reputation brings in funding for further research, which in turn leads to additional opportunities for students. Weinberg freshman Hannah Dunn, a chemistry major, said the nanomaterial research is an exciting accomplishment for NU researchers.

"I chose Northwestern because it has a lot of research and it has the funding of a large research institution," Dunn said. "It really influenced my decision to come here."

####

Contacts:

Copyright © Northwestern University

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

Haydale Secures Exclusive Development and Supply Agreement with Tantec A/S: New reactors to be built and commissioned by Tantec A/S represent another step forward towards the commercialisation of graphene October 24th, 2014

QuantumWise guides the semiconductor industry towards the atomic scale October 24th, 2014

MEMS & Sensors Technology Showcase: Finalists Announced for MEMS Executive Congress US 2014 October 23rd, 2014

Nanoparticle technology triples the production of biogas October 23rd, 2014

Discoveries

QuantumWise guides the semiconductor industry towards the atomic scale October 24th, 2014

Iranian, Malaysian Scientists Study Nanophotocatalysts for Water Purification October 23rd, 2014

Nanoparticle technology triples the production of biogas October 23rd, 2014

Strengthening thin-film bonds with ultrafast data collection October 23rd, 2014

Materials/Metamaterials

Researchers patent a nanofluid that improves heat conductivity October 22nd, 2014

Materials for the next generation of electronics and photovoltaics: MacArthur Fellow develops new uses for carbon nanotubes October 21st, 2014

Super stable garnet ceramics may be ideal for high-energy lithium batteries October 21st, 2014

Could I squeeze by you? Ames Laboratory scientists model molecular movement within narrow channels of mesoporous nanoparticles October 21st, 2014

Announcements

Haydale Secures Exclusive Development and Supply Agreement with Tantec A/S: New reactors to be built and commissioned by Tantec A/S represent another step forward towards the commercialisation of graphene October 24th, 2014

QuantumWise guides the semiconductor industry towards the atomic scale October 24th, 2014

Advancing thin film research with nanostructured AZO: Innovnano’s unique and cost-effective AZO sputtering targets for the production of transparent conducting oxides October 23rd, 2014

Strengthening thin-film bonds with ultrafast data collection October 23rd, 2014

Nanobiotechnology

NYU Researchers Break Nano Barrier to Engineer the First Protein Microfiber October 23rd, 2014

Nanoparticle technology triples the production of biogas October 23rd, 2014

Mechanism behind nature's sparkles revealed October 22nd, 2014

‘Designer’ nanodevice could improve treatment options for cancer sufferers October 22nd, 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