Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Glass-blowers at a nano scale: EPFL researchers are using the electrical properties of a scanning electron microscope to change the size of glass capillary tubes -- Their method has already been patented as it could pave the way to many novel applications

A few of these commercial pre-shrunk nano-capillaries have had their end diameter reduced to a few nanometers, from an original 200 nm, thanks to an electron microscope at EPFL's Center for MicroNanotechnology.

Credit: Alain Herzog / EPFL
A few of these commercial pre-shrunk nano-capillaries have had their end diameter reduced to a few nanometers, from an original 200 nm, thanks to an electron microscope at EPFL's Center for MicroNanotechnology.

Credit: Alain Herzog / EPFL

Abstract:
Have you ever thrown into the fire - even if you shouldn't have - an empty packet of crisps? The outcome is striking: the plastic shrivels and bends into itself, until it turns into a small crumpled and blackened ball. This phenomenon is explained by the tendency of materials to pick up their original features in the presence of the right stimulus. Hence, this usually happens when heating materials that were originally shaped at high temperatures and cooled afterwards.

Glass-blowers at a nano scale: EPFL researchers are using the electrical properties of a scanning electron microscope to change the size of glass capillary tubes -- Their method has already been patented as it could pave the way to many novel applications

Lausanne, Switzerland | Posted on March 25th, 2013

EPFL researchers realized that this phenomenon occurred to ultrathin quartz tubes (capillary tubes) under the beam of a scanning electron microscope. "This is not the original microscope's purpose. The temperature increase is explained by an accumulation of electrons in the glass. Electrons accumulate because glass is a non-conductive material." explains Lorentz Steinbock, researcher at the Laboratory of Nanoscale Biology and co-author of a paper on this subject published in Nano-letters.

As the glass shrinks, it can be seen live on the microscope screen. "It's like a glass-blower. Thanks to the possibilities provided by the new microscope at EPFL's Center of Micronanotechnology (MIC), the operator can adjust the microscope's voltage and electric field strength while observing the tube's reaction. Thus, the person operating the microscope can very precisely control the shape he wants to give to the glass", says Aleksandra Radenovic, tenure-track assistant professor in charge of the laboratory.

At the end of this process, the capillary tube's ends are perfectly controllable in diameter, ranging from 200 nanometers to fully closed. The scientists tested their slimmed down tubes in an experiment aiming to detect DNA segments in a sample. The test sample was moved from one container to another on a microfluidic chip. Whenever a molecule crossed the "channel" connecting the containers, the variation of the ion current was measured. As expected, the EPFL team obtained more accurate results with a tube reduced to the size of 11 nm than with standard market models. "By using a capillary tube costing only a few cents, in five minutes we are able to make a device that can replace "nano-channels" sold for hundreds of dollars!" explains Aleksandra Radenovic.

These nano-fillers have a potential beyond laboratory usage. "We can imagine industrial applications in ultra-high precision printers, as well as opportunities in surgery, where micro-pipettes of this type could be used at a cell's scale", says the researcher.

For the time being, the method for manufacturing nano-capillary tubes is manual, the transition to an industrial scale will take some time. However, the researchers have been able to demonstrate the concept behind their discovery and have registered a patent. Therefore, the road is already paved.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Lorenz Steinbock

41-216-931-162

Copyright © Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

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

Imaging

Renishaw receives Queen's Award for spectroscopy developments November 25th, 2014

News and information

Renishaw receives Queen's Award for spectroscopy developments November 25th, 2014

JPK reports on the use of AFM and the CellHesion module to study plant cells at the University of Queensland November 25th, 2014

Vegetable oil ingredient key to destroying gastric disease bacteria: In mice, therapeutic nanoparticles dampen H. pylori bacteria and inflammation that lead to ulcers and gastric cancer November 25th, 2014

Research yields material made of single-atom layers that snap together like Legos November 25th, 2014

Nanomedicine

Vegetable oil ingredient key to destroying gastric disease bacteria: In mice, therapeutic nanoparticles dampen H. pylori bacteria and inflammation that lead to ulcers and gastric cancer November 25th, 2014

Research reveals how our bodies keep unwelcome visitors out of cell nuclei November 24th, 2014

ASU, IBM move ultrafast, low-cost DNA sequencing technology a step closer to reality November 24th, 2014

An Inside Job: UC-Designed Nanoparticles Infiltrate, Kill Cancer Cells From Within November 24th, 2014

Discoveries

Lawrence Livermore researchers develop efficient method to produce nanoporous metals November 25th, 2014

Vegetable oil ingredient key to destroying gastric disease bacteria: In mice, therapeutic nanoparticles dampen H. pylori bacteria and inflammation that lead to ulcers and gastric cancer November 25th, 2014

Research yields material made of single-atom layers that snap together like Legos November 25th, 2014

Blu-ray disc can be used to improve solar cell performance: Data storage pattern transferred to solar cell increases light absorption November 25th, 2014

Announcements

Renishaw receives Queen's Award for spectroscopy developments November 25th, 2014

JPK reports on the use of AFM and the CellHesion module to study plant cells at the University of Queensland November 25th, 2014

Vegetable oil ingredient key to destroying gastric disease bacteria: In mice, therapeutic nanoparticles dampen H. pylori bacteria and inflammation that lead to ulcers and gastric cancer November 25th, 2014

Research yields material made of single-atom layers that snap together like Legos November 25th, 2014

Tools

Renishaw receives Queen's Award for spectroscopy developments November 25th, 2014

JPK reports on the use of AFM and the CellHesion module to study plant cells at the University of Queensland November 25th, 2014

A*STAR SIMTech wins international award for breaking new ground in actuators: SIMTech invention can be used in an array of industries, and is critical for next generation ultra-precision systems November 24th, 2014

Professional AFM Images with a Three Step Click SmartScan by Park Systems Revolutionizes Atomic Force Microscopy by Automatizing the Imaging Process November 24th, 2014

Nanobiotechnology

Quantum mechanical calculations reveal the hidden states of enzyme active sites November 20th, 2014

Tokyo Institute of Technology research: Protein-engineered cages aid studies of cell functions November 19th, 2014

A novel method for identifying the body’s ‘noisiest’ networks November 19th, 2014

Implementation of DNA Chains in Designing Nanospin Pieces November 9th, 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