Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > 'Molecular levers' may make materials better

Abstract:
In a forced game of molecular tug-of war, some strings of atoms can act like a lever, accelerating reactions 1000 times faster than other molecules. The discovery suggests that scientists could use these molecular levers to drive chemical and mechanical reactivity among atoms and ultimately engineer more efficient materials.

'Molecular levers' may make materials better

Durham, NC | Posted on December 23rd, 2012

"We are interested in designing new, stress-responsive materials, so we are trying to develop reactions that are very slow normally but that can be accelerated efficiently by force," said Duke chemist Steve Craig, who headed the research.

In recent experiments, Craig and his team found that a molecule made with a polynorbornene backbone can act as a lever to open a ring embedded within the molecule 1000 times faster than a similar ring being tugged at on a polybutadiene scaffold. The results, which appear Dec. 23 in Nature Chemistry, suggest that a simple change in the backbone may affect the how fast mechanically assisted reactions occur.

Scientists are interested in this type of molecular tug-of-war because many materials break down after repeated cycles of tugging, stress and other forces. "If we can channel usually destructive forces into constructive pathways, we could trigger reactions that make the material stronger when and where it is most useful," Craig said. Researchers might then be able to extend the material's lifetime, which might in the long term have applications ranging from composites for airplane frames to biomedical implants.

In the experiment, Craig, who is a professor and chair of the chemistry department, and his team used the equivalent of microscopic tweezers to grab onto two parts of atomic chains and pulled them so that they would break open, or react, in certain spots. The team predicted that one molecule would react more efficiently than the other but was surprised to find that the force-induced rates differed by three orders of magnitude, an amount that suggests that the polynorbornene backbone can actually accelerate forced reactions the way a crowbar quickens pulling a nail from a wall.

Craig said changes to the molecular group undergoing the reaction may have a much smaller effect than changes to nearby, unreactive molecules like those on the backbone. It is also a good starting point to identify other molecular backbones that are easy to make and have the largest response to changes in nearby reactions, features Craig said might help in developing even better, more responsive materials.

The research was supported by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, the Army Research Office and National Science Foundation.

Citation: "A Backbone Lever Arm Effect Enhances Polymer Mechanochemistry." (2012) Klukovich, H. et al. Nature Chemistry. AOP. DOI: 10.1038/NCHEM.1540

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Ashley Yeager

919-681-8057

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 News Press

News and information

Physicists develop new recipes for design of fast single-photon gun Physicists develop high-speed single-photon sources for quantum computers of the future September 21st, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Unveils Vision and Roadmap for Next-Generation 5G Applications: Technology platforms are uniquely positioned to enable a new era of ‘connected intelligence’ with the transition to 5G September 20th, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Delivers Custom 14nm FinFET Technology for IBM Systems: Jointly developed 14HP process is world’s only technology that leverages both FinFET and SOI September 20th, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Introduces New 12nm FinFET Technology for High-Performance Applications September 20th, 2017

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

Chemistry

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

Chemical hot spots: Scanning tunneling microscopy measurements identify active sites on catalyst surfaces September 7th, 2017

More durable, less expensive fuel cells: University of Delaware researchers have developed a new technology that could speed up the commercialization of fuel cell vehicles September 5th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene: Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis September 19th, 2017

New insights into nanocrystal growth in liquid: Understanding process that creates complex crystals important for energy applications September 14th, 2017

Magnetic cellular 'Legos' for the regenerative medicine of the future September 12th, 2017

Discoveries

Physicists develop new recipes for design of fast single-photon gun Physicists develop high-speed single-photon sources for quantum computers of the future September 21st, 2017

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene: Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis September 19th, 2017

A new approach to ultrafast light pulses: Unusual fluorescent materials could be used for rapid light-based communications systems September 19th, 2017

Materials/Metamaterials

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices September 18th, 2017

New insights into nanocrystal growth in liquid: Understanding process that creates complex crystals important for energy applications September 14th, 2017

Corrosion in real time: UCSB researchers get a nanoscale glimpse of crevice and pitting corrosion as it happens September 14th, 2017

Announcements

Physicists develop new recipes for design of fast single-photon gun Physicists develop high-speed single-photon sources for quantum computers of the future September 21st, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Delivers Custom 14nm FinFET Technology for IBM Systems: Jointly developed 14HP process is world’s only technology that leverages both FinFET and SOI September 20th, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Introduces New 12nm FinFET Technology for High-Performance Applications September 20th, 2017

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

Military

First on-chip nanoscale optical quantum memory developed: Smallest-yet optical quantum memory device is a storage medium for optical quantum networks with the potential to be scaled up for commercial use September 11th, 2017

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

2-faced 2-D material is a first at Rice: Rice University materials scientists create flat sandwich of sulfur, molybdenum and selenium August 14th, 2017

Moving at the Speed of Light: University of Arizona selected for high-impact, industrial demonstration of new integrated photonic cryogenic datalink for focal plane arrays: Program is major milestone for AIM Photonics August 10th, 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