Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Self-assembling nanocubes for next generation antennas and lenses

Abstract:
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering have developed a technique that enables metallic nanocrystals to self-assemble into larger, complex materials for next-generation antennas and lenses. The metal nanocrystals are cube-shaped and, like bricks or Tetris blocks, spontaneously organize themselves into larger-scale structures with precise orientations relative to one another. Their findings were published online June 10 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Self-assembling nanocubes for next generation antennas and lenses

San Diego, CA | Posted on June 13th, 2012

This research is in the new field of nanoplasmonics, where researchers are developing materials that can manipulate light using structures that are smaller than the wavelength of light itself. The nanocubes used in this study were less than 0.1 microns; by comparison, the breadth of a human hair is 100 microns. Precise orientation is necessary so that the cubes can confine light (for a nanoscale antenna) or focus light (for a nanoscale lens) at different wavelengths.

"Our findings could have important implications in developing new optical chemical and biological sensors, where light interacts with molecules, and in optical circuitry, where light can be used to deliver information," said Andrea Tao, a professor in the Department of NanoEngineering at the Jacobs School. Tao collaborated with nanoengineering professor Gaurav Arya and post-doctoral researcher Bo Gao.

To construct objects like antennas and lenses, Tao's team is using chemically synthesized metal nanocrystals. The nanocrystals can be synthesized into different shapes to build these structures; in this study, Tao's team created tiny cubes composed of crystalline silver that can confine light when organized into multi-particle groupings. Confining light into ultra-small volumes could allow optical sensors that are extremely sensitive and that could allow researchers to monitor how a single molecule moves, reacts, and changes with time.

To control how the cubes organize, Tao and her colleagues developed a method to graft polymer chains to the silver cube surfaces that modify how the cubes interact with each other. Normally when objects like cubes stack, they pack side-by-side like Tetris blocks. Using simulations, Tao's team predicted that placing short polymer chains on the cube surface would cause them to stack normally, while placing long polymer chains would cause the cubes to stack edge-to-edge. The approach is simple, robust, and versatile.

In demonstrating their technique, the researchers created macroscopic films of nanocubes with these two different orientations and showed that the films reflected and transmitted different wavelengths of light.

The research was supported by the National Science Foundation, the Hellman Foundation, and Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Catherine Hockmuth
858-822-1359

Copyright © University of California, San Diego

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

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat May 18th, 2018

New blood test rapidly detects signs of pancreatic cancer May 17th, 2018

Disability Can Be a Superpower in Space Disabled astronauts offer unique solutions to emergencies in space May 17th, 2018

Deeper understanding of quantum chaos may be the key to quantum computers May 16th, 2018

Thin films

Organic solar cells reach record efficiency, benchmark for commercialization April 23rd, 2018

High efficiency solar power conversion allowed by a novel composite material: A composite thin film developed at INRS improves significantly solar cells' power conversion efficiency April 10th, 2018

Researchers develop nanoparticle films for high-density data storage: April 3rd, 2018

Monocrystalline silicon thin film for cost-cutting solar cells with 10-times faster growth rate fabricated: Controlling nano surface roughness of porous silicon March 20th, 2018

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat May 18th, 2018

New blood test rapidly detects signs of pancreatic cancer May 17th, 2018

Deeper understanding of quantum chaos may be the key to quantum computers May 16th, 2018

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

Self Assembly

Engineered polymer membranes could be new option for water treatment May 6th, 2018

Watching nanomaterials form in 4D: Novel technology allows researchers to see dynamic reactions as they happen at the nanoscale April 26th, 2018

Tiny nanomachine successfully completes test drive: Researchers at the University of Bonn and the research institute Caesar build a one-wheeled vehicle out of DNA rings April 11th, 2018

Liquid crystal molecules form nano rings: Quantized self-assembly enables design of materials with novel properties February 7th, 2018

Discoveries

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat May 18th, 2018

New blood test rapidly detects signs of pancreatic cancer May 17th, 2018

Deeper understanding of quantum chaos may be the key to quantum computers May 16th, 2018

Making carbon nanotubes as usable as common plastics: Researchers discover that cresols disperse carbon nanotubes at unprecedentedly high concentrations May 15th, 2018

Materials/Metamaterials

Making carbon nanotubes as usable as common plastics: Researchers discover that cresols disperse carbon nanotubes at unprecedentedly high concentrations May 15th, 2018

Mining for gold with a computer: Texas A&M team gleans new insights on key material May 3rd, 2018

'Exceptional' research points way toward quantum discoveries: Rice University scientists make tunable light-matter couplings in nanotube films April 30th, 2018

The first PE blown films with nanotubes hit the Chinese market April 26th, 2018

Announcements

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat May 18th, 2018

New blood test rapidly detects signs of pancreatic cancer May 17th, 2018

Disability Can Be a Superpower in Space Disabled astronauts offer unique solutions to emergencies in space May 17th, 2018

Deeper understanding of quantum chaos may be the key to quantum computers May 16th, 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