Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Self-assembling, biomimetic composites possess unusual electrical properties

Biomimetic composites are produced by topological interactions, expanding the limits of the physical properties, such as electrical conductivity.

CREDIT
Mert Vural, Penn State
Biomimetic composites are produced by topological interactions, expanding the limits of the physical properties, such as electrical conductivity. CREDIT Mert Vural, Penn State

Abstract:
Sometimes, breaking rules is not a bad thing. Especially when the rules are apparent laws of nature that apply in bulk material, but other forces appear in the nanoscale.

Self-assembling, biomimetic composites possess unusual electrical properties

University Park, PA | Posted on June 4th, 2020

"Nature knows how to go from the small, atomic scale to larger scales," said Melik Demirel, professor of engineering science and mechanics and holder of the Lloyd and Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair in Biomimetic Materials. "Engineers have used mixing rules to enhance properties, but have been limited to a single scale. We've never gone down to the next level of hierarchical engineering. The key challenge is that there are apparent forces at different scales from molecules to bulk."

Composites, by definition, are composed of more than one component. Mixture rules say that, while the ratios of one component to another can vary, there is a limit on the physical properties of the composite. According to Demirel, his team has broken that limit, at least on the nanoscale.

"If you have a conducting polymer composite the amounts of polymer and metal compound are limited by the rule of mixtures," said Demirel. "The rules govern everything about the matrix and filler. We took materials -- a biopolymer and an atomically thin conducting material -- let them organize by self assembly, and broke the rule of mixtures."

The team's materials are composed of a biomimetic polymer based on tandem repeat proteins produced by gene duplication and inspired by the structure of squid ring teeth proteins, and conducting titanium carbide 2D MXene, an only a few-molecules-thick layer of metal. This layered composite self-assembles and the polymer mediates the distance between the metal layers. By using genetic engineering of tandem repeat proteins -- a biopolymer that repeats a conserved sequence -- the researchers can control the inter-layer distance of conducting layers without changing the composite fractions. The researchers' goal is to create self-assembling materials with unprecedented control over their physical properties using synthetic biology.

Because the polymer self-assembles into a cross-linked network, the matrix-to-filler ratios in tiny areas can break the mixture rules, and the electrical properties of the layered material changes. The researchers report the results of their work in a recent issue of ACS Nano.

This biomimetic polymer metal composite can be both flexible and conductive in the proper bulk mixtures. On the microscopic scale, when the structural symmetry is broken, electrical conductivity depends on direction.

"What is unique is that now you can get in-plane electrical conductivity that differs from out-of-plane conductivity," said Demirel.

As long as the current is going along the plane of the 2D material layers, the conductivity is linear, but if the current is directed across the layers, the conductivity becomes nonlinear.

"Now we can make a storage device," said Demirel. "We could also make diodes, switches, regulators and other electronic devices. We want to make materials that are designed with desired properties for building novel functionalities, which are difficult to achieve or previously unattainable."

###

Also working on this project from Penn State are Haoyue Zhu and Huihun Jung, postdoctoral fellows in engineering science and mechanics; and Benjamin D. Allen, research associate. Other researchers on the project were Mert Vural, postdoctoral fellow at Linköping University in Sweden and formerly a postdoctoral fellow at Penn State, and Abdon Pena-Francesch, soon to be a Penn State doctoral graduate and an assistant professor at the University of Michigan.

The Army Research Office and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research basic science programs supported this work.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
A'ndrea Elyse Messer

814-865-5689

@penn_state

Copyright © Penn State

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

RELATED JOURNAL ARTICLE:

Related News Press

News and information

The lightest shielding material in the world: Protection against electromagnetic interference July 3rd, 2020

Spintronics: Faster data processing through ultrashort electric pulses July 3rd, 2020

A path to new nanofluidic devices applying spintronics technology: Substantial increase in the energy conversion efficiency of hydrodynamic power generation via spin currents July 3rd, 2020

Towards lasers powerful enough to investigate a new kind of physics: An international team of researchers has demonstrated an innovative technique for increasing the intensity of lasers July 3rd, 2020

2 Dimensional Materials

Researchers discover new boron-lanthanide nanostructure June 25th, 2020

Excitons form superfluid in certain 2D combos: Rice University researchers find ‘paradox’ in ground-state bilayers June 15th, 2020

Transparent graphene electrodes might lead to new generation of solar cells: New roll-to-roll production method could enable lightweight, flexible solar devices and a new generation of display screens June 8th, 2020

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Releases a New Application Note Introducing Scanning Capacitance Microscopy (SCM) June 3rd, 2020

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Towards lasers powerful enough to investigate a new kind of physics: An international team of researchers has demonstrated an innovative technique for increasing the intensity of lasers July 3rd, 2020

Carbon-loving materials designed to reduce industrial emissions July 3rd, 2020

Charcoal a weapon to fight superoxide-induced disease, injury: Nanomaterials soak up radicals, could aid treatment of COVID-19 July 2nd, 2020

The nature of nuclear forces imprinted in photons June 30th, 2020

Possible Futures

Spintronics: Faster data processing through ultrashort electric pulses July 3rd, 2020

A path to new nanofluidic devices applying spintronics technology: Substantial increase in the energy conversion efficiency of hydrodynamic power generation via spin currents July 3rd, 2020

Towards lasers powerful enough to investigate a new kind of physics: An international team of researchers has demonstrated an innovative technique for increasing the intensity of lasers July 3rd, 2020

Crystal structure discovered almost 200 years ago could hold key to solar cell revolution July 3rd, 2020

Memory Technology

Process for 'two-faced' nanomaterials may aid energy, information tech June 26th, 2020

EU Team Demonstrates Full Data-Transfer Silicon Photonics Module Delivering 100 Gb/s and Develops Building Blocks for Tb/s: COSMICC Project Breakthroughs ‘Will Answer Tremendous Market Needs with a Target Cost per Bit that Traditional Wavelength-Division Multiplexing Transceivers June 23rd, 2020

Measuring a tiny quasiparticle is a major step forward for semiconductor technology: Research team publishes latest findings on promising quasiparticles and their interactions June 19th, 2020

Engineers put tens of thousands of artificial brain synapses on a single chip: The design could advance the development of small, portable AI devices June 8th, 2020

Self Assembly

Hair surface engineering to be advanced by nano vehicles: This new researched technology can help both drug delivery and hair cosmetics industry April 10th, 2020

Researchers show what drives a novel, ordered assembly of alternating peptides February 20th, 2020

Pretty with a twist: Complex porous, chiral nano-patterns arise from a simple linear building block January 16th, 2020

Researchers gain control over internal structure of self-assembled composite materials January 16th, 2020

Discoveries

The lightest shielding material in the world: Protection against electromagnetic interference July 3rd, 2020

Spintronics: Faster data processing through ultrashort electric pulses July 3rd, 2020

A path to new nanofluidic devices applying spintronics technology: Substantial increase in the energy conversion efficiency of hydrodynamic power generation via spin currents July 3rd, 2020

Towards lasers powerful enough to investigate a new kind of physics: An international team of researchers has demonstrated an innovative technique for increasing the intensity of lasers July 3rd, 2020

Materials/Metamaterials

Cellulose for manufacturing advanced materials: A review of the scientific literature made at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) highlights the potential of hybrid materials based on cellulose nanocrystals June 26th, 2020

Macroscopic quantum interference in an ultra-pure metal June 26th, 2020

Process for 'two-faced' nanomaterials may aid energy, information tech June 26th, 2020

Researchers discover new boron-lanthanide nanostructure June 25th, 2020

Announcements

Towards lasers powerful enough to investigate a new kind of physics: An international team of researchers has demonstrated an innovative technique for increasing the intensity of lasers July 3rd, 2020

Crystal structure discovered almost 200 years ago could hold key to solar cell revolution July 3rd, 2020

Flexible material shows potential for use in fabrics to heat, cool July 3rd, 2020

Carbon-loving materials designed to reduce industrial emissions July 3rd, 2020

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

A path to new nanofluidic devices applying spintronics technology: Substantial increase in the energy conversion efficiency of hydrodynamic power generation via spin currents July 3rd, 2020

Towards lasers powerful enough to investigate a new kind of physics: An international team of researchers has demonstrated an innovative technique for increasing the intensity of lasers July 3rd, 2020

Crystal structure discovered almost 200 years ago could hold key to solar cell revolution July 3rd, 2020

Flexible material shows potential for use in fabrics to heat, cool July 3rd, 2020

Military

A Tremendous Recognition’ Engineer Jonathan Klamkin earns prestigious award from DARPA June 23rd, 2020

Fluorocarbon bonds are no match for light-powered nanocatalyst: Rice U. lab unveils catalyst that can break problematic C-F bonds June 22nd, 2020

Teaching physics to neural networks removes 'chaos blindness' June 19th, 2020

Is teleportation possible? Yes, in the quantum world: Quantum teleportation is an important step in improving quantum computing June 19th, 2020

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