Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > First direct observation of oriented attachment in nanocrystal growth: Study at Berkeley Lab points the way to synthesizing new biomimetic materials and improved bioremediation

Berkeley Lab researchers at the Molecular Foundry have elucidated important mechanisms behind oriented attachment, the phenomenon that drives biomineralization and the growth of nanocrystals.

Credit: Image courtesy of Jim DeYorero
Berkeley Lab researchers at the Molecular Foundry have elucidated important mechanisms behind oriented attachment, the phenomenon that drives biomineralization and the growth of nanocrystals.

Credit: Image courtesy of Jim DeYorero

Abstract:
Through biomineralization, nature is able to produce such engineering marvels as mother of pearl, or nacre, the inner lining of abalone shells renowned for both its iridescent beauty and amazing toughness. Key to biomineralization is the phenomenon known as "oriented attachment," whereby adjacent nanoparticles connect with one another in a common crystallographic orientation. While the importance of oriented attachment to biomineral properties long has been recognized, the mechanism by which it occurs has remained a mystery. With a better understanding of oriented attachment it should be possible to synthesize new materials with remarkable structural properties. To that end, a team of researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have reported the first direct observation of what they have termed "jump-to-contact," the critical step in oriented attachment.

First direct observation of oriented attachment in nanocrystal growth: Study at Berkeley Lab points the way to synthesizing new biomimetic materials and improved bioremediation

Berkeley, CA | Posted on May 24th, 2012

"The direct observation of the translational and rotational accelerations associated with the jump-to-contact between nanoparticles enabled us to calculate the forces that drive oriented attachment," said Jim DeYoreo, a scientist with the Molecular Foundry, a DOE nanoscience center at Berkeley Lab where this research took place. "This gives us a basis for testing models and simulations that could open the door to using oriented attachment in the synthesis of unique new materials."

DeYoreo is the corresponding author of a paper in the journal Science that describes this research titled "Direction-specific interactions control crystal growth by oriented attachment." Co-authoring this paper were Dongsheng Li, Michael Nielsen, Jonathan Lee, Cathrine Frandsen and Jillian Banfield.

Ever since a study in 2000 led by co-author Banfield revealed the existence of nanoparticle oriented attachment, it has become widely recognized that the phenomenon is an important mechanism of crystal growth in many natural and biomimetic materials, as well as in the synthesis of nanowires.

"Such nanocrystal systems often exhibit complex forms ranging from quasi-one dimensional chains to three-dimensional hierarchical superstructures, but typically diffract as a single crystal, implying that the primary particles underwent alignment during growth," says Li, first author of the Science paper and member of DeYoreo's research group. "When particle alignment is accompanied by coalescence, this growth is characterized as oriented attachment, however, the pathway by which nanoparticles become aligned and attached has been poorly understood."

To learn more about the interactions and forces that drive oriented attachment, the Berkeley researchers studied the early crystal growth of iron oxide nanoparticles. Iron oxides are abundant in Earth's crust and play an important role in the biogeochemical processes that shape near-surface environments. Using a silicon liquid cell mounted within a high-resolution transmission electron microscope at the Molecular Foundry, the research team recorded images with sufficient resolution to track nanoparticle orientations throughout the growth of the crystals.

"We observed the particles undergoing continuous rotation and interaction until they found a perfect lattice match at which point a sudden jump-to-contact occurred over a distance of less than one nanometer," DeYoreo says. "This jump-to-contact is followed by lateral atom-by-atom additions initiated at the contact point. The measured translational and rotational accelerations show that strong, highly-direction-specific interactions drive crystal growth via oriented attachment."

The information gained from this investigation into the oriented attachment of iron oxide nanoparticles should be applicable not only to the future synthesis of biomimetic materials, but also to environmental restoration efforts. Scientists now know that mineralization in natural environments often proceeds through particle-particle attachment events and plays an important part in the sequestration of contaminants. Understanding the forces behind oriented attachment should also advance the development of branched or tree-like semiconductor nanowires, structures in which one or more secondary nanowires grow radially from a primary nanowire.

"Branched semiconductor nanowires are being pursued for applications in photocatalysis, photovoltaics and nanoelectronics because of their large surface areas, small diameters, and ability to form natural junctions," DeYoreo says. "An understanding of the underlying mechanisms that control nanowire branching should help materials scientists develop more effective strategies for producing these materials."

This research was primarily supported by the DOE Office of Science.

####

About DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world's most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab's scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. For more, visit www.lbl.gov.

The Molecular Foundry is one of five DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers (NSRCs), national user facilities for interdisciplinary research at the nanoscale, supported by the DOE Office of Science. Together the NSRCs comprise a suite of complementary facilities that provide researchers with state-of-the-art capabilities to fabricate, process, characterize and model nanoscale materials, and constitute the largest infrastructure investment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The NSRCs are located at DOE's Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Oak Ridge and Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories. For more information about the DOE NSRCs, please visit science.energy.gov.

DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit the Office of Science website at science.energy.gov/.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Lynn Yarris

510-486-5375

Copyright © DOE/Lawrence Berkeley 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

Searching for errors in the quantum world September 21st, 2018

Viral RNA sensing: Optical detection of picomolar concentrations of RNA using switches in plasmonic chirality September 21st, 2018

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

Nanobiotix: Update on Head and Neck Phase I/II Trial with NBTXR3 and Other program data presented at ImmunoRad 2018 September 20th, 2018

Researchers develop microbubble scrubber to destroy dangerous biofilms September 19th, 2018

Imaging

Viral RNA sensing: Optical detection of picomolar concentrations of RNA using switches in plasmonic chirality September 21st, 2018

Laboratories

Cannibalistic materials feed on themselves to grow new nanostructures September 1st, 2018

A Novel Graphene Quantum Dot Structure Takes the Cake August 24th, 2018

Virginia Tech researchers develop novel process to 3D print one of the strongest materials on Earth August 23rd, 2018

Connecting the (Nano) Dots: NIST Says Big-Picture Thinking Can Advance Nanoparticle Manufacturing August 22nd, 2018

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

Researchers develop microbubble scrubber to destroy dangerous biofilms September 19th, 2018

Researchers managed to prevent the disappearing of quantum information September 14th, 2018

New photonic chip promises more robust quantum computers September 14th, 2018

Nanoelectronics

How a tetrahedral substance can be more symmetrical than a spherical atom: A new type of symmetry September 14th, 2018

Laser sintering optimized for printed electronics: New study sheds (laser) light on the best means of laying down thin-film circuitry September 13th, 2018

September 5th, 2018

Rice U. lab probes molecular limit of plasmonics: Optical effect detailed in organic molecules with fewer than 50 atoms September 5th, 2018

Discoveries

Searching for errors in the quantum world September 21st, 2018

Viral RNA sensing: Optical detection of picomolar concentrations of RNA using switches in plasmonic chirality September 21st, 2018

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

NUS researchers invent new test kit for quick, accurate and low-cost screening of diseases: Test results are denoted by a color change and could be further analyzed by a smartphone app, making it attractive as a point-of-care diagnostic device September 19th, 2018

Materials/Metamaterials

How a tetrahedral substance can be more symmetrical than a spherical atom: A new type of symmetry September 14th, 2018

Peering into private life of atomic clusters -- using the world's tiniest test tubes September 6th, 2018

Cannibalistic materials feed on themselves to grow new nanostructures September 1st, 2018

Environmentally friendly photoluminescent nanoparticles for more vivid display colors: Osaka University-led researchers created a new type of light-emitting nanoparticle that is made of ternary non-toxic semiconductors to help create displays and LED lighting with better colors t August 29th, 2018

Announcements

Searching for errors in the quantum world September 21st, 2018

Viral RNA sensing: Optical detection of picomolar concentrations of RNA using switches in plasmonic chirality September 21st, 2018

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

Nanobiotix: Update on Head and Neck Phase I/II Trial with NBTXR3 and Other program data presented at ImmunoRad 2018 September 20th, 2018

Tools

Carbon nanodots do an ultrafine job with in vitro lung tissue: New experiments highlight the role of charge and size when it comes to carbon nanodots that mimic the effect of nanoscale pollution particles on the human lung. September 12th, 2018

Terahertz spectroscopy enters the single-molecule regime September 7th, 2018

Mirrorcle Demonstrates MEMS-based Programmable Light Source at CES and PW18 August 30th, 2018

Stress-free ALD from Picosun August 28th, 2018

Energy

Leti Announces EU Project to Develop Powerful, Inexpensive Sensors with Photonic Integrated Circuits: REDFINCH Members Initially Targeting Applications for Gas Detection and Analysis For Refineries & Petrochemical Industry and Protein Analysis for Dairy Industry September 19th, 2018

S, N co-doped carbon nanotube-encapsulated CoS2@Co: Efficient and stable catalysts for water splitting September 10th, 2018

September 5th, 2018

Rice U. lab probes molecular limit of plasmonics: Optical effect detailed in organic molecules with fewer than 50 atoms September 5th, 2018

Nanobiotechnology

Viral RNA sensing: Optical detection of picomolar concentrations of RNA using switches in plasmonic chirality September 21st, 2018

Nanobiotix: Update on Head and Neck Phase I/II Trial with NBTXR3 and Other program data presented at ImmunoRad 2018 September 20th, 2018

NUS researchers invent new test kit for quick, accurate and low-cost screening of diseases: Test results are denoted by a color change and could be further analyzed by a smartphone app, making it attractive as a point-of-care diagnostic device September 19th, 2018

Researchers develop microbubble scrubber to destroy dangerous biofilms September 19th, 2018

Solar/Photovoltaic

September 5th, 2018

NUST MISIS scientists present metamaterial for solar cells and nanooptics July 23rd, 2018

Northwestern researchers achieve unprecedented control of polymer grids: Materials could find applications in water purification, solar energy storage, body armor June 22nd, 2018

Team achieves two-electron chemical reactions using light energy, gold May 15th, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project