Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > New hybrid molecules could lead to materials that function at the nanoscale: Research could lead to improvements in large-scale water purification and solar power

The outcome of the CAREER Award will be new materials with predictable structure and organication on both the molecular scale and nanoscale. A new molecular architecture, dendornized helix bundle assemblies, will be developed under this award. The new molecules are hybrids of highly branched polymers called dendrons, which promote organization of the 2-D hexagonal array structure having dimensions ~2-10nm, and helical peptides that associate into protein-like bundles. The bundles have a discrete height (~7-10nm), and the precise arrangement of atoms in the bundle can be used to create functional materials such as selectively permeable membranes.

Credit: Jonathan G. Rudick, Stony Brook University
The outcome of the CAREER Award will be new materials with predictable structure and organication on both the molecular scale and nanoscale. A new molecular architecture, dendornized helix bundle assemblies, will be developed under this award. The new molecules are hybrids of highly branched polymers called dendrons, which promote organization of the 2-D hexagonal array structure having dimensions ~2-10nm, and helical peptides that associate into protein-like bundles. The bundles have a discrete height (~7-10nm), and the precise arrangement of atoms in the bundle can be used to create functional materials such as selectively permeable membranes.

Credit: Jonathan G. Rudick, Stony Brook University

Abstract:
Synthetic chemists today have the ability to construct molecules of almost any atomic composition, creating new materials with any number of promising applications that range from sustainable energy and environmental remediation, to high-performance electronics.

New hybrid molecules could lead to materials that function at the nanoscale: Research could lead to improvements in large-scale water purification and solar power

Arlington, VA | Posted on January 14th, 2014

"It is possible to finely tune the properties of molecules through chemical synthesis to achieve just the right balance of properties needed," says Jonathan Rudick, an assistant professor of chemistry at Stony Brook University. "For example, through chemical synthesis, we can select ranges of the solar spectrum that a molecule will absorb, which has been essential for progress made in the area of organic molecules for solar power."

The National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded scientist is studying a class of molecules known as dendrons, highly branched molecules shaped like wedges or cones, which pack together to form circular or spherical assemblies with nanoscale dimensions. His group aims to develop a new class of nanoscale materials that can be processed like conventional synthetic polymers, yet retain the high structured order found in proteins.

One potential benefit of their work could be in developing a low-cost, low-weight and compact material that could be used to purify large volumes of water, and prove valuable in developing countries where potable water is difficult to find. It also could be useful in large scale water treatment facilities "where you need to be able to purify large volumes quickly, and the less membrane it takes to do that, the better," he says.

This requires creating the tiniest of channels for the water to pass through, which is not as simple as it sounds.

"The composition lining of the hole determines whether the water will go through," he says. "When you get a hole down to being the size of a molecule, then the interactions between the atoms in the water molecule and the atoms that line the hole become critical as to whether or not the water will go through. It's not like shooting water through a faucet."

Dendrons pose a special challenge in that "there is very little order to how the atoms are arranged within their assembly," making it difficult for scientists to manipulate the atoms, Rudick says.

However, peptides, on the other hand, another class of molecules "can take on a helical conformation, in which the atoms are arranged like a spiral staircase," with known locations for each atom, he explains. "Because the location of each atom in the helical molecule is known, we can accurately anticipate the positions of atoms in bundles of helical peptides."

Their approach, then, is to attempt to design a hybrid using the best features of each. The result would be a new class of molecules, dendronized helix bundle assemblies.

"We anticipate that this new class of materials will allow us to more accurately understand how materials function at the nanoscale," he says.

"We are trying to prove the concept that we can create a material where you can have atomic level control," he adds. "We synthesize new materials. We make these new materials, and we are characterizing the structure of films that can be made from them."

Dendronized helix bundle assemblies "represents a class of molecules that has never been made before," he says. "It's a class of polymer with a perfectly branched molecular structure. We refer to them as 'bio hybrid molecules,' because part is something found in nature, and the other part is synthetic. We are covalently attaching sequences of amino acids that might be found in helical proteins in nature to dendrons."

He is conducting his research under a NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award. The grant supports junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organization. NSF is funding his work with about $500,000 over five years.

As part of the grant's educational component, his lab is working with a local high school to teach students about liquid crystals and other forms of soft matter.

Dendronized helix bundle assemblies also could have a major impact in the development of molecular materials for solar power, he says.

"The active components in organic photovoltaic materials are organic molecules that can absorb light called chromophores," he explains. "The arrangement of chromophores in a film plays an important role in determining whether an absorbed photon of light is transformed into energy we can use.

"Furthermore, the best arrangement of chromophores is not yet known, and will likely vary depending on the particular chromophore being used," he adds. "By incorporating chromophores within the helical bundle portion of our hybrid molecular materials, we will be able to systematically explore how to optimize the performance of solar conversion materials."

-- Marlene Cimons, National Science Foundation

####

For more information, please click here

Copyright © National Science Foundation

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

New tool allows scientists to visualize 'nanoscale' processes May 4th, 2016

FEI Launches Apreo Industry-Leading Versatile, High-Performance SEM: The Apreo SEM provides high-resolution surface information with excellent contrast, and the flexibility to accommodate a large range of samples, applications and conditions May 4th, 2016

Little ANTs: Researchers build the world's tiniest engine May 3rd, 2016

An Experiment Seeks to Make Quantum Physics Visible to the Naked Eye May 3rd, 2016

Chemistry

New tool allows scientists to visualize 'nanoscale' processes May 4th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

New tool allows scientists to visualize 'nanoscale' processes May 4th, 2016

A compact, efficient single photon source that operates at ambient temperatures on a chip: Highly directional single photon source concept is expected to lead to a significant progress in producing compact, cheap, and efficient sources of quantum information bits for future appls May 3rd, 2016

Little ANTs: Researchers build the world's tiniest engine May 3rd, 2016

An Experiment Seeks to Make Quantum Physics Visible to the Naked Eye May 3rd, 2016

Chip Technology

A compact, efficient single photon source that operates at ambient temperatures on a chip: Highly directional single photon source concept is expected to lead to a significant progress in producing compact, cheap, and efficient sources of quantum information bits for future appls May 3rd, 2016

Spintronics for future information technologies: Spin currents in topological insulators controlled May 2nd, 2016

Cooling graphene-based film close to pilot-scale production April 30th, 2016

Exploring phosphorene, a promising new material April 29th, 2016

Discoveries

New tool allows scientists to visualize 'nanoscale' processes May 4th, 2016

A compact, efficient single photon source that operates at ambient temperatures on a chip: Highly directional single photon source concept is expected to lead to a significant progress in producing compact, cheap, and efficient sources of quantum information bits for future appls May 3rd, 2016

Nuclear pores captured on film: Using an ultra fast-scanning atomic force microscope, researchers from the University of Basel have filmed 'living' nuclear pore complexes at work for the first time May 3rd, 2016

Little ANTs: Researchers build the world's tiniest engine May 3rd, 2016

Materials/Metamaterials

Clay nanotube-biopolymer composite scaffolds for tissue engineering May 1st, 2016

Exploring phosphorene, a promising new material April 29th, 2016

Hybrid nanoantennas -- next-generation platform for ultradense data recording April 28th, 2016

Atomic magnets using hydrogen and graphene April 27th, 2016

Announcements

New tool allows scientists to visualize 'nanoscale' processes May 4th, 2016

FEI Launches Apreo Industry-Leading Versatile, High-Performance SEM: The Apreo SEM provides high-resolution surface information with excellent contrast, and the flexibility to accommodate a large range of samples, applications and conditions May 4th, 2016

Nuclear pores captured on film: Using an ultra fast-scanning atomic force microscope, researchers from the University of Basel have filmed 'living' nuclear pore complexes at work for the first time May 3rd, 2016

Little ANTs: Researchers build the world's tiniest engine May 3rd, 2016

Environment

Team builds first quantum cascade laser on silicon: Eliminates the need for an external light source for mid-infrared silicon photonic devices or photonic circuits April 21st, 2016

Atomically thin sensor detects harmful air pollution in the home April 18th, 2016

Catalyst could make production of key chemical more eco-friendly April 10th, 2016

Nanoporous material's strange "breathing" behavior April 7th, 2016

Energy

Nanoparticles present sustainable way to grow food crops May 1st, 2016

NREL finds nanotube semiconductors well-suited for PV systems April 27th, 2016

Researchers create artificial protein to control assembly of buckyballs April 27th, 2016

Flipping a chemical switch helps perovskite solar cells beat the heat April 26th, 2016

Water

Nanoparticles present sustainable way to grow food crops May 1st, 2016

Novel anti-biofilm nano coating developed at Ben-Gurion U.: Offers significant anti-adhesive potential for a variety of medical and industrial applications April 25th, 2016

Adding some salt to the recipe for energy storage materials: Researchers use common table salt as growth template April 22nd, 2016

NRL reveals novel uniform coating process of p-ALD April 21st, 2016

Solar/Photovoltaic

NREL finds nanotube semiconductors well-suited for PV systems April 27th, 2016

Flipping a chemical switch helps perovskite solar cells beat the heat April 26th, 2016

Manipulating light inside opaque layers April 24th, 2016

Thin-film solar cells: How defects appear and disappear in CIGSe cells: Concentration of copper plays a crucial role April 23rd, 2016

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







Car Brands
Buy website traffic