Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors

Abstract:
In a breakthrough for nanotechnology, engineers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed the first method for selecting and switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors among multiple modes with simple visible light as the stimulus.

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors

Austin, TX | Posted on September 21st, 2018

The capability of mechanical reconfiguration could lead to a new class of controllable nanoelectromechanical and nanorobotic devices for a variety of fields including drug delivery, optical sensing, communication, molecule release, detection, nanoparticle separation and microfluidic automation.

The finding, made by Donglei (Emma) Fan, associate professor at the Cockrell School of Engineering's Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Ph.D. candidate Zexi Liang, demonstrates how, depending on the intensity, light can instantly increase, stop and even reverse the rotation orientation of silicon nanomotors in an electric field. This effect and the underlying physical principles have been unveiled for the first time. It switches mechanical motion of rotary nanomotors among various modes instantaneously and effectively.

Nanomotors, which are nanoscale devices capable of converting energy into movement at the cellular and molecular levels, have the potential to be used in everything from drug delivery to nanoparticle separation.

Using light from a laser or light projector at strengths varying from visible to infrared, the UT researchers' novel technique for reconfiguring the motion of nanomotors is efficient and simple in its function. Nanomotors with tunable speed have already been researched as drug delivery vessels, but using light to adjust the mechanical motions has far wider implications for nanomotors and nanotechnology research more generally.

"The ability to alter the behavior of nanodevices in this way - from passive to active - opens the door to the design of autonomous and intelligent machines at the nanoscale," Fan said.

Fan describes the working principle of reconfigurable electric nanomotors as a mechanical analogy of electric transistors, the basic building blocks of microchips in cellphones, computers, laptops and other electronic devices that switch on demand to external stimuli.

"We successfully tested our hypothesis based on the newly discovered effect through a practical application," Fan added.

"We were able to distinguish semiconductor and metal nanomaterials just by observing their different mechanical motions in response to light with a conventional optical microscope. This distinction was made in a noncontact and nondestructive manner compared to the prevailing destructive contact-based electric measurements."

The discovery of light acting as a switch for adjusting the mechanical behaviors of nanomotors was based on examinations of the interactions of light, an electric field and semiconductor nanoparticles at play in a water-based solution.

This is Fan and her team's latest breakthrough in this area. In 2014, they developed the smallest, fastest and longest-running rotary nanomotors ever designed.

###

The research was funded by Fan's National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award and the Welch Foundation.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
John Holden

512-529-6013

Copyright © University of Texas at Austin

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 Links

The researchers published their findings in the Sept. 14 issue of Science Advances:

Related News Press

News and information

Tracking pollen with quantum dots: A pollination biologist from Stellenbosch University in South Africa is using quantum dots to track the fate of individual pollen grains. This is breaking new ground in a field of research that has been hampered by the lack of a universal method February 17th, 2019

Super-light, super-insulating ceramic aerogel keeps the hottest temperatures at bay February 17th, 2019

Molecular Lego blocks: Chemical data mining boosts search for new organic semiconductors February 15th, 2019

The smallest skeletons in the marine world observed in 3D by synchrotron techniques February 15th, 2019

Videos/Movies

Laser-induced graphene gets tough, with help: Rice University lab combines conductive foam with other materials for capable new composites February 12th, 2019

WSU researchers develop new technique to understand biology at the nanoscale November 7th, 2018

The National Graphene Association Is Excited To Announce A New Affiliate Partnership With Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) November 7th, 2018

Nanofabrication

Scientists program proteins to pair exactly: Technique paves the way for the creation of protein nanomachines and for the engineering of new cell functions December 21st, 2018

Robotics

Insights into magnetic bacteria may guide research into medical nanorobots December 12th, 2018

Mode-Changing MEMS Accelerometer from STMicroelectronics Combines High Measurement Resolution and Ultra-Low Power for Industrial Applications November 7th, 2018

Microfluidics/Nanofluidics

WSU researchers develop new technique to understand biology at the nanoscale November 7th, 2018

NEMS

IEDM - CEA-Leti Will Present 11 Papers and Host Workshop on Disruptive Technologies for Data Management November 7th, 2018

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication July 13th, 2018

One string to rule them all April 17th, 2018

Leti Scientists Participating in Sessions on Med Tech, Automotive Technologies, MEMS, Si-photonics and Lithography at SEMICON Europa: Teams also Will Demonstrate Technology Advances in Telecom, Data Fusion, Energy, Silicon Photonics and 3D Integration October 18th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

NRL, AFRL develop direct-write quantum calligraphy in monolayer semiconductors February 15th, 2019

Researchers create ultra-lightweight ceramic material that withstands extreme temperatures: UCLA-led team develops highly durable aerogel that could ultimately be an upgrade for insulation on spacecraft February 15th, 2019

Sensitive sensor detects Down syndrome DNA February 14th, 2019

Laser-induced graphene gets tough, with help: Rice University lab combines conductive foam with other materials for capable new composites February 12th, 2019

Possible Futures

Tracking pollen with quantum dots: A pollination biologist from Stellenbosch University in South Africa is using quantum dots to track the fate of individual pollen grains. This is breaking new ground in a field of research that has been hampered by the lack of a universal method February 17th, 2019

Super-light, super-insulating ceramic aerogel keeps the hottest temperatures at bay February 17th, 2019

Molecular Lego blocks: Chemical data mining boosts search for new organic semiconductors February 15th, 2019

Researchers create ultra-lightweight ceramic material that withstands extreme temperatures: UCLA-led team develops highly durable aerogel that could ultimately be an upgrade for insulation on spacecraft February 15th, 2019

Molecular Machines

Kanazawa University research: A closed cage-like molecule that can be opened January 22nd, 2019

Insights into magnetic bacteria may guide research into medical nanorobots December 12th, 2018

How to mass produce cell-sized robots: Technique from MIT could lead to tiny, self-powered devices for environmental, industrial, or medical monitoring October 24th, 2018

How swarms of nanomachines could improve the efficiency of any machine September 28th, 2018

Molecular Nanotechnology

The feature size and functional range of molecular electronic devices: Monitoring the transition from tunneling leakage current to molecular tunneling December 16th, 2018

Insights into magnetic bacteria may guide research into medical nanorobots December 12th, 2018

How to mass produce cell-sized robots: Technique from MIT could lead to tiny, self-powered devices for environmental, industrial, or medical monitoring October 24th, 2018

How swarms of nanomachines could improve the efficiency of any machine September 28th, 2018

Nanomedicine

Sensitive sensor detects Down syndrome DNA February 14th, 2019

Laser-induced graphene gets tough, with help: Rice University lab combines conductive foam with other materials for capable new composites February 12th, 2019

Nominations invited for $250,000 Kabiller Prize — the world’s largest monetary award for achievement in nanomedicine: An additional $10,000 award will honor a young investigator in nanoscience, nanomedicine February 7th, 2019

Kanazawa University research: Chirality inversion in a helical molecule at controlled speeds February 6th, 2019

Sensors

NRL, AFRL develop direct-write quantum calligraphy in monolayer semiconductors February 15th, 2019

Sensitive sensor detects Down syndrome DNA February 14th, 2019

CEA-Leti Builds Prototype of Next-Generation Mid-Infrared Optical Sensors for Portable Devices: Coin-size, On-chip Sensors that Combine High Performance and Low Power Consumption Presented in Paper at SPIE Photonics West 2019 February 5th, 2019

Disruptive by Design: Nano Now February 1st, 2019

Discoveries

Tracking pollen with quantum dots: A pollination biologist from Stellenbosch University in South Africa is using quantum dots to track the fate of individual pollen grains. This is breaking new ground in a field of research that has been hampered by the lack of a universal method February 17th, 2019

Molecular Lego blocks: Chemical data mining boosts search for new organic semiconductors February 15th, 2019

The smallest skeletons in the marine world observed in 3D by synchrotron techniques February 15th, 2019

Researchers create ultra-lightweight ceramic material that withstands extreme temperatures: UCLA-led team develops highly durable aerogel that could ultimately be an upgrade for insulation on spacecraft February 15th, 2019

Announcements

Tracking pollen with quantum dots: A pollination biologist from Stellenbosch University in South Africa is using quantum dots to track the fate of individual pollen grains. This is breaking new ground in a field of research that has been hampered by the lack of a universal method February 17th, 2019

Super-light, super-insulating ceramic aerogel keeps the hottest temperatures at bay February 17th, 2019

Researchers create ultra-lightweight ceramic material that withstands extreme temperatures: UCLA-led team develops highly durable aerogel that could ultimately be an upgrade for insulation on spacecraft February 15th, 2019

Spintronics by 'straintronics': Switching superferromagnetism with electric-field induced strain February 15th, 2019

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Tracking pollen with quantum dots: A pollination biologist from Stellenbosch University in South Africa is using quantum dots to track the fate of individual pollen grains. This is breaking new ground in a field of research that has been hampered by the lack of a universal method February 17th, 2019

Super-light, super-insulating ceramic aerogel keeps the hottest temperatures at bay February 17th, 2019

NRL, AFRL develop direct-write quantum calligraphy in monolayer semiconductors February 15th, 2019

Researchers create ultra-lightweight ceramic material that withstands extreme temperatures: UCLA-led team develops highly durable aerogel that could ultimately be an upgrade for insulation on spacecraft February 15th, 2019

Grants/Sponsored Research/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

Nominations invited for $250,000 Kabiller Prize — the world’s largest monetary award for achievement in nanomedicine: An additional $10,000 award will honor a young investigator in nanoscience, nanomedicine February 7th, 2019

Brilliant glow of paint-on semiconductors comes from ornate quantum physics January 18th, 2019

Scientists program proteins to pair exactly: Technique paves the way for the creation of protein nanomachines and for the engineering of new cell functions December 21st, 2018

Strem Chemicals, Inc., Receives National Performance Improvement Honor: Company Recognized for Stakeholder Communications December 20th, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project