Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

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

Nano Ruffles in Brain Matter: Freiburg researchers decipher the role of nanostructures around brain cells in central nervous system function October 31st, 2014

Gold nanoparticle chains confine light to the nanoscale October 31st, 2014

'Nanomotor lithography' answers call for affordable, simpler device manufacturing October 31st, 2014

Device invented at Johns Hopkins provides up-close look at cancer on the move: Microscopic view of metastasis could give insight about how to keep cancer in check October 31st, 2014

Physics

Sussex physicists find simple solution for quantum technology challenge October 28th, 2014

New evidence for an exotic, predicted superconducting state October 27th, 2014

Solid nanoparticles can deform like a liquid: Unexpected finding shows tiny particles keep their internal crystal structure while flexing like droplets October 12th, 2014

Unconventional photoconduction in an atomically thin semiconductor: New mechanism of photoconduction could lead to next-generation excitonic devices October 9th, 2014

Molecular Nanotechnology

'Nanomotor lithography' answers call for affordable, simpler device manufacturing October 31st, 2014

Crystallizing the DNA nanotechnology dream: Scientists have designed the first large DNA crystals with precisely prescribed depths and complex 3D features, which could create revolutionary nanodevices October 20th, 2014

Fast, cheap nanomanufacturing: Arrays of tiny conical tips that eject ionized materials could fabricate nanoscale devices cheaply October 4th, 2014

Nano-bearings on the test bench: Fullerene spheres can be used to slide in the nanoworld October 3rd, 2014

Self Assembly

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

NIST offers electronics industry 2 ways to snoop on self-organizing molecules October 22nd, 2014

‘Designer’ nanodevice could improve treatment options for cancer sufferers October 22nd, 2014

Crystallizing the DNA nanotechnology dream: Scientists have designed the first large DNA crystals with precisely prescribed depths and complex 3D features, which could create revolutionary nanodevices October 20th, 2014

Discoveries

Nano Ruffles in Brain Matter: Freiburg researchers decipher the role of nanostructures around brain cells in central nervous system function October 31st, 2014

Gold nanoparticle chains confine light to the nanoscale October 31st, 2014

'Nanomotor lithography' answers call for affordable, simpler device manufacturing October 31st, 2014

Device invented at Johns Hopkins provides up-close look at cancer on the move: Microscopic view of metastasis could give insight about how to keep cancer in check October 31st, 2014

Materials/Metamaterials

Production of Biocompatible Polymers in Iran October 30th, 2014

New solar power material converts 90 percent of captured light into heat: SunShot Project aims to make solar cost competitive October 29th, 2014

Watching the hidden life of materials: Ultrafast electron diffraction experiments open a new window on the microscopic world October 27th, 2014

Polymeric Scaffold Recreates Bladder Tissue October 27th, 2014

Announcements

Nano Ruffles in Brain Matter: Freiburg researchers decipher the role of nanostructures around brain cells in central nervous system function October 31st, 2014

Gold nanoparticle chains confine light to the nanoscale October 31st, 2014

'Nanomotor lithography' answers call for affordable, simpler device manufacturing October 31st, 2014

Device invented at Johns Hopkins provides up-close look at cancer on the move: Microscopic view of metastasis could give insight about how to keep cancer in check October 31st, 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