Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > NYU physicists shine a light on particle assembly

NYU physicists have developed a method for moving microscopic particles with the flick of a light switch. Their work, reported in the journal Science, relies on a blue light to prompt colloids to move and then assemble—much like birds flock and move together in flight. ©iStockPhoto.com/RUJITOP
NYU physicists have developed a method for moving microscopic particles with the flick of a light switch. Their work, reported in the journal Science, relies on a blue light to prompt colloids to move and then assemble—much like birds flock and move together in flight.

©iStockPhoto.com/RUJITOP

Abstract:
New York University physicists have developed a method for moving microscopic particles with the flick of a light switch. Their work, reported in the journal Science, relies on a blue light to prompt colloids to move and then assemble—much like birds flock and move together in flight.

NYU physicists shine a light on particle assembly

New York, NY | Posted on February 1st, 2013

The method offers the potential to enhance the design of a range of industrial products, including the architecture of electronics.

The study's authors were: Jeremie Palacci and Stefano Sacanna, post-doctoral fellows in NYU's Center for Soft Matter Research who devised the research; David Pine and Paul Chaikin, professors in NYU's Department of Physics; and Asher Preska Steinberg, an undergraduate at Brandeis University who was a summer research program participant at NYU.

The work addresses a fundamental question in nature—what causes flocks and swarms to form and move in a particular way? Schools of fish, colony formations of bacteria, or flocks of birds are examples of how this occurs in living matter. In this inquiry, the researchers focused on making artificial systems exhibit similar activity. They used colloids—small particles suspended within a fluid medium—and discovered the basic organizing principles in natural flocking and how to use this to organize inorganic matter.

This exploration is a significant one. Colloidal dispersions are composed of such everyday items such as paint, milk, gelatin, glass, and porcelain. By better understanding driven colloidal self-organization, scientists have the potential to harness these particles and create new and enhanced materials—possibilities that are now largely untapped.

To explore this, the research team developed light-activated self-propelled particles, "swimmers," from the micro-meter-sized particles in solution. To separate the effects of swimming from simple thermal motion, they created a system where the particles turn on and off with application of blue light. With the light on, the self-propelled random swimmers collide and cluster. The light also triggers a slight chemical attraction and leads the clusters to crystallize and grow until the swimmers turn in separate directions and splinter the crystals. The "living" crystals continually form, swirl, and split. When the light is extinguished, the swimmers stop and the structures dissolve into individual diffusing colloidal particles.

Using the slight magnetism of the particles allows direction of the individual swimmers as well as the crystals. With control of light, magnets, and chemical attraction, these active particles bring biological organization to the materials world.

The research was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, under the NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) Program (DMR-0820341), the Department of Defense, under its Multidisciplinary Research Program of the University Research Initiative (W911NF-10-1-0518), and NASA under grant award NNX08AK04G.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
James Devitt

212-998-6808

Copyright © New York 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

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

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices September 18th, 2017

Do titanium dioxide particles from orthopedic implants disrupt bone repair? September 16th, 2017

Hydrogen power moves a step closer: Physicists are developing methods of creating renewable fuel from water using quantum technology September 15th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

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

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

High-speed quantum memory for photons September 9th, 2017

Chip Technology

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

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

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

High-speed quantum memory for photons September 9th, 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

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

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices September 18th, 2017

Do titanium dioxide particles from orthopedic implants disrupt bone repair? September 16th, 2017

Hydrogen power moves a step closer: Physicists are developing methods of creating renewable fuel from water using quantum technology September 15th, 2017

Announcements

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

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices September 18th, 2017

Do titanium dioxide particles from orthopedic implants disrupt bone repair? September 16th, 2017

Hydrogen power moves a step closer: Physicists are developing methods of creating renewable fuel from water using quantum technology September 15th, 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

Industrial

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet August 17th, 2017

Nanocrystalline LEDs: Red, green, yellow, blue ... August 7th, 2017

Magnetized viruses attack harmful bacteria: Rice, China team uses phage-enhanced nanoparticles to kill bacteria that foul water treatment systems August 2nd, 2017

3-D-printed jars in ball-milling experiments June 29th, 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