Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Chiral asymmetry can emerge from maximal symmetry

These two patterns are mirror images of each other. To see the difference between them, compare how a row with six triangles connects to one of the hexagonal shapes. A chiral pattern of this kind can occur despite the fact that all particles (dots) are the same type and acting with equal force in all directions. Picture credit: Physical Review Letters: “Chiral Surfaces Self-Assembling in One-Component Systems with Isotropic Interactions”.
These two patterns are mirror images of each other. To see the difference between them, compare how a row with six triangles connects to one of the hexagonal shapes. A chiral pattern of this kind can occur despite the fact that all particles (dots) are the same type and acting with equal force in all directions. Picture credit: Physical Review Letters: “Chiral Surfaces Self-Assembling in One-Component Systems with Isotropic Interactions”.

Abstract:
Researchers at Chalmers have shown that maximally symmetric systems of particles can spontaneously produce two different patterns, which are mirror images of each other. The results have been published in the prestigious journal Physical Review Letters - one of four articles from the research group in the same journal within a short period of time. The research group is working towards a mathematical design of self-assembling nanomaterials.

Chiral asymmetry can emerge from maximal symmetry

Gothenburg, Sweden | Posted on June 6th, 2012

The Chalmers researchers are working on so-called self-assembling systems. The aim is to calculate how to construct molecular building blocks which, when mixed together, self-assemble into advanced nanomaterials - like pieces of a puzzle that completes itself.

An important property in many chemical and physical systems is something called chirality. Most larger molecules are chiral, which means they exist in two different versions that are mirror images of each other, like our left and right hands. The two versions often produce a completely different effect in, for example, the human body. One well known example of this is the drug thalidomide, where one chiral variation of the active molecule can cause birth defects.

Chirality normally occurs when different types of particle or atoms combine into complex molecules. Researchers at Chalmers have now, however, demonstrated something completely new in the field of physics: chirality can occur spontaneously, even in systems that comprise only a single type of basic, spherically symmetric particle. This means that it doesn't matter how the particles are rotated in relation to one another. The forces acting between the particles depend only on the distance between them.

"Chiral asymmetry can therefore occur spontaneously in a system where the basic condition is maximal symmetry", says Martin Nilsson Jacobi, head of the research group. "This is an important breakthrough in our attempt to develop self-assembling materials. It may also shed new light on the issue of why chirality is so prevalent in nature."

The basis for the discovery is a mathematical method developed by the research group. This method enables them to take any crystal and calculate exactly which forces are required between the particles to form this exact crystal. This is a new technique for designing self-assembling systems, and has also been published in Physical Review Letters.

The majority of researchers in the field use experiments and data simulations to cope with the enormous complexity represented by self-assembling systems. To design the building blocks that lead to a desired structure, the components are gradually altered to try and achieve the correct final result. Chalmers researchers, however, calculate the solution to the design problem in advance.

"We design the building blocks mathematically", says Martin Nilsson Jacobi. "So far, the forces between the particles produced using our methods are too complicated to be implemented in the lab, but we are working to simplify them in various ways."

The group is currently developing analytical methods to construct nanoparticles whose surfaces are covered by molecules in a set pattern. The molecules will enable the particles to combine in exactly the right way to form desired structures.

"Research into material manufacturing is currently focusing increasingly on self-assembling materials", says Martin Nilsson Jacobi. "One source of inspiration is living cells, where self-assembly and self-reparation take place all the time. Incredibly complex molecular machineries are assembled spontaneously, when atoms and molecules attach themselves to one another with different types of bindings."

Researchers across the world are now attempting to emulate these systems, which evolution has created and fine-tuned over millions of years. They can also create wholly new materials with exotic properties which do not occur in nature, so-called metamaterials. Examples are materials that do not propagate sound in certain frequency bands, or materials that do not expand when heated.

####

About Chalmers University of Technology
Chalmers University of Technology performs research and education in technology, science and architecture, with a sustainable future as overall vision. Chalmers is well-known for providing an effective environment for innovation and has eight Areas of Advance – Built Environment, Energy, Information and Communication Technology, Life Science, Materials Science, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Production, and Transportation. Situated in Gothenburg, Sweden, Chalmers has 13,000 students and 2,500 employees.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Martin Nilsson Jacobi
Professor in Complex systems
Chalmers University of Technology
+46 31-772 31 66
or +46 730-79 58 22


Christian Borg
+46 - (0)31 772 3395

Copyright © AlphaGalileo

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

Full bibliographic informationChiral Surfaces Self-Assembling in One-Component Systems with Isotropic Interactions

"Asymmetric Patterns from Symmetric Forces":

"Designer lattices" (joint comments on two articles published in the same journal edition):

"Where stripes come from":

Related News Press

News and information

UCLA chemists synthesize narrow ribbons of graphene using only light and heat: Tiny structures could be next-generation solution for smaller electronic devices December 8th, 2017

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

Device makes power conversion more efficient: New design could dramatically cut energy waste in electric vehicles, data centers, and the power grid December 8th, 2017

JPK Instruments announce partnership with Swiss company, Cytosurge AG. The partnership makes Cytosurge’s FluidFM® technology available on the JPK NanoWizard® AFM platform December 8th, 2017

Physics

Inorganic-organic halide perovskites for new photovoltaic technology November 6th, 2017

Halas wins American Physical Society's Lilienfeld Prize: Rice University nanoscientist honored for pioneering research in plasmonics October 23rd, 2017

A step closer to understanding quantum mechanics: Swansea University’s physicists develop a new quantum simulation protocol October 22nd, 2017

'Find the Lady' in the quantum world: International team of researchers presents method for quantum-mechanical swapping of positions October 18th, 2017

Molecular Nanotechnology

Going swimmingly: Biotemplates breakthrough paves way for cheaper nanobots: By using bacterial flagella as a template for silica, researchers have demonstrated an easier way to make propulsion systems for nanoscale swimming robots November 30th, 2017

Spinning strands hint at folding dynamics: Rice University lab uses magnetic beads to model microscopic proteins, polymers October 17th, 2017

Assembly of nanoparticles proceeds like a zipper: Viruses and nanoparticles can be assembled into processable superlattice wires according to scientists from Aalto University Finland September 25th, 2017

First 3-D observation of nanomachines working inside cells: Researchers headed by IRB Barcelona combine genetic engineering, super-resolution microscopy and biocomputation to allow them to see in 3-D the protein machinery inside living cells January 27th, 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

Discoveries

UCLA chemists synthesize narrow ribbons of graphene using only light and heat: Tiny structures could be next-generation solution for smaller electronic devices December 8th, 2017

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

Device makes power conversion more efficient: New design could dramatically cut energy waste in electric vehicles, data centers, and the power grid December 8th, 2017

Wheat gets boost from purified nanotubes: Rice University toxicity study shows plant growth enhanced by -- but only by -- purified nanotubes December 6th, 2017

Materials/Metamaterials

Creating a new kind of metallic glass December 7th, 2017

Copper will replace toxic palladium and expensive platinum in the synthesis of medications: The effectiveness of copper nanoparticles as a catalyst has been proven December 5th, 2017

Chinese market opens up for Carbodeon nanodiamonds: Carbodeon granted Chinese Patent for Nanodiamond-containing Thermoplastic Thermal Compounds December 4th, 2017

Scientists make transparent materials absorb light December 1st, 2017

Announcements

UCLA chemists synthesize narrow ribbons of graphene using only light and heat: Tiny structures could be next-generation solution for smaller electronic devices December 8th, 2017

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

Device makes power conversion more efficient: New design could dramatically cut energy waste in electric vehicles, data centers, and the power grid December 8th, 2017

JPK Instruments announce partnership with Swiss company, Cytosurge AG. The partnership makes Cytosurge’s FluidFM® technology available on the JPK NanoWizard® AFM platform December 8th, 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