- About Us
- Career Center
- Nano-Social Network
- Nano Consulting
- My Account
|Sea Urchin nanoparticle|
A nanoparticle shaped like a spiky ball, with magnetic properties, has been uncovered in a new method of synthesising carbon nanotubes by physicists at Queen Mary University of London and the University of Kent.
Carbon nanotubes are hollow, cylindrical molecules that can be manipulated to give them useful properties. The nanoparticles were discovered accidentally on the rough surfaces of a reactor designed to grow carbon nanotubes.
Described as sea urchins because of their characteristic spiny appearance, the particles consist of nanotubes filled with iron, with equal lengths pointing outwards in all directions from a central particle.
The presence of iron and the unusual nanoparticle shape could have potential for a number of applications, such as batteries that can be charged from waste heat, mixing with polymers to make permanent magnets, or as particles for cancer therapies that use heat to kill cancerous cells.
The researchers found that the rough surfaces of the reactor were covered in a thick powder of the new nanoparticles and that intentional roughening of the surfaces produced large quantities of the sea urchin nanoparticles.
"The surprising conclusion is that the sea urchin nanoparticles grow in vapour by a mechanism that's similar to snowflake formation. Just as moist air flowing over a mountain range produces turbulence which results in a snowfall, the rough surface disrupts a flow to produce a symmetrical and ordered nanoparticle out of chaotic conditions," said Dr Mark Baxendale from Queen Mary's School of Physics and Astronomy.
On analysis, the researchers found that a small fraction of the iron inside the carbon nanotubes was a particular type usually only found in high temperature and pressure conditions.
Dr Baxendale added: "We were surprised to see this rare kind of iron inside the nanotubes. While we don't know much about its behaviour, we can see that the presence of this small fraction of iron greatly influences the magnetic properties of the nanoparticle."
The research was supported by the South East Physics Network and is published in the journal Carbon.
For more information, please click here
Copyright © Queen Mary, University of LondonIf 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.
|Related News Press|
News and information
Researchers develop new way to manufacture nanofibers May 21st, 2015
Cotton fibres instead of carbon nanotubes May 9th, 2015
ORNL demonstrates first large-scale graphene fabrication May 14th, 2015
Nano-policing pollution May 13th, 2015
ORNL superhydrophobic glass coating offers clear benefits May 11th, 2015
Efficiency record for black silicon solar cells jumps to 22.1 percent: Aalto University's researchers improved their previous record by over 3 absolute percents in cooperation with Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya May 18th, 2015
Organic nanoparticles, more lethal to tumors: Carbon-based nanoparticles could be used to sensitize cancerous tumors to proton radiotherapy and induce more focused destruction of cancer cells, a new study shows May 18th, 2015