Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Creating nano-structures from the bottom up

This is a nano-structure.

Credit: Benjamin Yellen
This is a nano-structure.

Credit: Benjamin Yellen

Abstract:
Microscopic particles are being coaxed by Duke University engineers to assemble themselves into larger crystalline structures by the use of varying concentrations of microscopic particles and magnetic fields.

Creating nano-structures from the bottom up

Durham, NC | Posted on April 24th, 2012

These nano-scale crystal structures, which until now have been difficult and time-consuming to produce using current technologies, could be used as basic components for advanced optics, data storage and bioengineering, said the research team.

"Not only did we develop the theoretical underpinning for this new technique, but we demonstrated in the lab that we could create more than 20 different programmed structures," said Benjamin Yellen, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Duke's Pratt School of Engineering and lead member of the research team. The results of the Duke experiments were published online in the journal Nature Communications.

"Despite the promise of creating new classes of man-made structures, current methods for creating these tiny structures in a reliable and cost-effective way remains a daunting challenge," Yellen said. "This new approach could open pathways for fabricating complex materials that cannot be produced by current techniques."

The research was supported by the Research Triangle Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, which is funded by the National Science Foundation.

The traditional method for creating man-made crystals is described as "top-down" by Yellen, which means they are fashioned by lithography or molding techniques, and can't be easily created in three dimensions.

"Our approach is much more 'bottom up,' in that we're starting at the level of a model 'atom' and working our way up," Yellen said.

By manipulating the magnetization within a liquid solution, the Duke researchers coaxed magnetic and non-magnetic particles to form intricate nano-structures, such as chains, rings and lattices.

The nano-structures are formed inside a liquid known as a ferrofluid, which is a solution consisting of suspensions of nanoparticles composed of iron-containing compounds. One of the unique properties of these fluids is that they become highly magnetized in the presence of external magnetic fields. The particles that are less magnetic than the ferrofluid behave similarly to negative charges, whereas the particles that are more magnetic than the ferrofluid act like positive charges. The opposite particles thus attract one another to form structures resembling salt crystals.

Since the magnetization of the fluid and the concentrations of the particles controls how the particles are attracted to or repelled by each other, the researchers were able to control the shapes and patterns of assembly. By appropriately "tuning" these interactions, the magnetic and non-magnetic particles form around each other much like a snowflake forms around a microscopic dust particle.

According to Yellen, researchers have long been able to create tiny structures made up of a single particle type, but the demonstration of sophisticated structures assembling in solutions containing multiple types of particles has been difficult to achieve. The structure of these nano-structures determines how they can ultimately be used.

Yellen foresees the use of these nano-structures in advanced optical devices, such as sensors, where different nano-structures could be designed to possess custom-made optical properties. Yellen also envisions that rings composed of metal particles could be used for antenna designs, and perhaps as one of the key components in the construction of materials that display artificial "optical magnetism" and negative magnetic permeability.

Other members of the team Duke's Karim Khalil, Amanda Sagategui, Mukarram Tahir, Joshua Socolar and Benjamin Wiley.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Richard Merritt

919-660-8414

Copyright © Duke 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 Links

View video:

Related News Press

News and information

Sandia researchers make solid ground toward better lithium-ion battery interfaces: Reducing the traffic jam in batteries December 13th, 2017

Perking up and crimping the 'bristles' of polyelectrolyte brushes December 13th, 2017

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

Leti to Demo Wristband with Embedded Sensors to Diagnose Sleep Apnea: APNEAband, Which Will Be Demonstrated at CES 2018, Also Monitors Mountain Sickness, Dehydration, Dialysis Treatment Response and Epileptic Seizures December 12th, 2017

Videos/Movies

Math gets real in strong, lightweight structures: Rice University researchers use 3-D printers to turn century-old theory into complex schwarzites November 16th, 2017

A new way to mix oil and water: Condensation-based method developed at MIT could create stable nanoscale emulsions November 8th, 2017

Luleċ University of Technology is using the Deben CT5000TEC stage to perform x-ray microtomography experiments with the ZEISS Xradia 510 Versa to understand deformation and strain inside inhomogeneous materials November 7th, 2017

Graphene enables high-speed electronics on flexible materials: A flexible terahertz detector has been developed by Chalmers using graphene transistors on plastic substrates. It is the first of its kind, and may open for applications requiring flexible electronics such as wireless October 31st, 2017

Self Assembly

Physicists gain new insights into nanosystems with spherical confinement: Enormous potential for the targeted delivery of pharmaceutical agents and the creation of tailored nanoparticles July 27th, 2017

Oddball enzyme provides easy path to synthetic biomaterials May 17th, 2017

Nanotubes that build themselves April 14th, 2017

Nanocages for gold particles: what is happening inside? March 16th, 2017

Sensors

Leti to Demo Wristband with Embedded Sensors to Diagnose Sleep Apnea: APNEAband, Which Will Be Demonstrated at CES 2018, Also Monitors Mountain Sickness, Dehydration, Dialysis Treatment Response and Epileptic Seizures December 12th, 2017

Leti Develops World’s First Micro-Coolers for CERN Particle Detectors: Leti Design, Fabrication and Packaging Expertise Extends to Very Large Scientific Instruments December 11th, 2017

Graphene oxide making any material suitable to create biosensors: Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University have developed a new tool for biomedical research focused on single-cell investigation November 27th, 2017

The stacked color sensor: True colors meet minimization November 16th, 2017

Discoveries

Sandia researchers make solid ground toward better lithium-ion battery interfaces: Reducing the traffic jam in batteries December 13th, 2017

Perking up and crimping the 'bristles' of polyelectrolyte brushes December 13th, 2017

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

Untangling DNA: Researchers filter the entropy out of nanopore measurements December 8th, 2017

Announcements

Sandia researchers make solid ground toward better lithium-ion battery interfaces: Reducing the traffic jam in batteries December 13th, 2017

Perking up and crimping the 'bristles' of polyelectrolyte brushes December 13th, 2017

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

Leti to Demo Wristband with Embedded Sensors to Diagnose Sleep Apnea: APNEAband, Which Will Be Demonstrated at CES 2018, Also Monitors Mountain Sickness, Dehydration, Dialysis Treatment Response and Epileptic Seizures December 12th, 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