Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International



Home > Press > Landmark discovery could improve Army lasers, precision sensors

Army-funded research at NYU develops a method to create colloids that crystallize into the diamond lattice.

CREDIT
NYU Tandon School of Engineering
Army-funded research at NYU develops a method to create colloids that crystallize into the diamond lattice. CREDIT NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Abstract:
An Army-funded landmark discovery at New York University could change the way researchers develop and use optical technologies, such as lasers, sensors and photonic circuits over the next decade.

Landmark discovery could improve Army lasers, precision sensors

Research Triangle Park, NC | Posted on September 29th, 2020

After years of research, the team of scientists achieved what many thought was perhaps impossible-they developed a method to create colloids that crystallize into the diamond lattice. This photonic technique, published in Nature, could lead to cheap, reliable and scalable fabrication of 3D photonic crystals for optical circuits and light filters.

These 3D photonic crystals--self-assembled formations of miniscule materials in a stable assembly--could open the door to lightweight high-efficiency lasers, precise light control with 3D photonic circuits and new materials for managing thermal or radio signatures.

High-efficiency lasers are key to Army modernization priorities, including Air and Missile Defense, as they play a key role in both precision sensing and directed energy systems. Likewise, efficient lasers and integrated photonic circuits will play a key role in next-generation technologies like light-based quantum computing, atomic clocks and gyroscopes for precision navigation and timing, and optical systems with improved size, weight, and power.

"This long-sought demonstration of the first self-assembled colloidal diamond lattices will unlock new research and development opportunities for important Department of Defense technologies which could benefit from 3D photonic crystals," said Dr. Evan Runnerstrom, program manager, Army Research Office, an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command's Army Research Laboratory.

Colloidal crystals, made up of spheres hundreds of times smaller than the diameter of a human hair, can be arranged in different crystalline shapes depending on how the spheres are linked to one another. Each colloid attaches to another using strands of DNA glued to surfaces of the colloids that function as a kind of molecular Velcro. When colloids collide with each other in a liquid bath, the DNA snags and the colloids are linked. Depending on where the DNA is attached to the colloid, they can be programmed to spontaneously create complex structures.

This process has been used in the past to create strings of colloids and even close-packed cubic colloidal crystals, but not the diamond structure--which displays an optical band gap for visible light. Much as a semiconductor filters out electrons in a circuit, an optical band gap completely rejects certain wavelengths of light. Filtering light in this way is practical only if the colloids are arranged in a diamond formation, a process previously deemed too difficult and expensive to perform at commercial scale.

"There's been a great desire among engineers to make a diamond structure," said Dr. David Pine, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. "Most researchers had given up on it, to tell you the truth - we may be the only group in the world who is still working on this. I think the publication of the paper will come as something of a surprise to the community."

The investigators discovered that they could use a steric interlock mechanism that would spontaneously produce the necessary staggered bonds to make this structure possible. When these pyramidal colloids approached each other, they linked in the necessary orientation to generate a diamond formation. Rather than going through the painstaking and expensive process of building these structures through the use of top-down approaches like nanofabrication, this mechanism allows the colloids to structure themselves from the bottom-up without the need for outside interference. Furthermore, the diamond structures are stable, even when the liquid they form in is removed.

The team and their collaborators--including researchers from the Centre de Recherche Paul Pascal - CNRS, Pessac, France; and Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, South Korea--are now focused on converting these colloidal diamonds into 3D photonic crystals that can be used in a practical setting. They are already creating materials using their new structures that can filter out optical wavelengths in order to prove their usefulness in future technologies.

"I am thrilled with this result because it wonderfully illustrates a central goal of ARO's materials design program -- to support high-risk, high-reward research that unlocks bottom-up routes to creating extraordinary materials that were previously impossible to make," Runnerstrom said.

###

The National Science Foundation also funded this research.

Visit the laboratory's Media Center to discover more Army science and technology stories

####

About US Army Research Laboratory
CCDC Army Research Laboratory is an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. As the Army's corporate research laboratory, ARL discovers, innovates and transitions science and technology to ensure dominant strategic land power. Through collaboration across the command's core technical competencies, CCDC leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win the nation's wars and come home safely. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Lisa B Bistreich-Wolfe

919-549-4372

@ArmyResearchLab

Copyright © US Army Research Laboratory

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

Wearable sensors that detect gas leaks April 19th, 2021

JEOL USA Welcomes New Managing Director, Hidetaka Sawada April 19th, 2021

FSU engineers improve performance of high-temperature superconductor wires April 16th, 2021

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals to Webcast Fiscal 2021 Second Quarter Results April 16th, 2021

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals to Webcast Fiscal 2021 Second Quarter Results April 16th, 2021

Nanofabrication

New tech builds ultralow-loss integrated photonic circuits April 16th, 2021

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Better metric for thermoelectric materials means better design strategies: New quantity helps experimentally classify dimensionality of thermoelectric materials April 15th, 2021

Better metric for thermoelectric materials means better design strategies: New quantity helps experimentally classify dimensionality of thermoelectric materials April 15th, 2021

Better solutions for making hydrogen may lie just at the surface April 9th, 2021

Antibody binding-site conserved across COVID-19 virus variants: The structural revelation could have implications as a therapeutic target in all SARS-CoV-2 variants April 9th, 2021

Possible Futures

Wearable sensors that detect gas leaks April 19th, 2021

New nanoscale device for spin technology: Spin waves could unlock the next generation of computer technology, a new component allows physicists to control them April 16th, 2021

New tech builds ultralow-loss integrated photonic circuits April 16th, 2021

Oregon scientists create mechanism to precisely control soundwaves in metamaterials: Theoretical modeling shows that designer materials incorporating drum-like membranes allow precise stoppage and reversal of sound pulses April 16th, 2021

Chip Technology

New tech builds ultralow-loss integrated photonic circuits April 16th, 2021

Discovery could help lengthen lifespan of electronic devices: The research could lead to electronics being designed with better endurance April 9th, 2021

Graphene: Everything under control: Research team demonstrates control mechanism for quantum material April 9th, 2021

Energy transmission by gold nanoparticles coupled to DNA structures April 9th, 2021

Optical computing/Photonic computing

New tech builds ultralow-loss integrated photonic circuits April 16th, 2021

Energy transmission by gold nanoparticles coupled to DNA structures April 9th, 2021

Teamwork makes light shine ever brighter: Combined energy sources return a burst of photons from plasmonic gold nanogaps March 18th, 2021

New study investigates photonics for artificial intelligence and neuromorphic computing February 1st, 2021

Discoveries

New nanoscale device for spin technology: Spin waves could unlock the next generation of computer technology, a new component allows physicists to control them April 16th, 2021

New tech builds ultralow-loss integrated photonic circuits April 16th, 2021

Oregon scientists create mechanism to precisely control soundwaves in metamaterials: Theoretical modeling shows that designer materials incorporating drum-like membranes allow precise stoppage and reversal of sound pulses April 16th, 2021

FSU engineers improve performance of high-temperature superconductor wires April 16th, 2021

Announcements

Wearable sensors that detect gas leaks April 19th, 2021

JEOL USA Welcomes New Managing Director, Hidetaka Sawada April 19th, 2021

FSU engineers improve performance of high-temperature superconductor wires April 16th, 2021

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals to Webcast Fiscal 2021 Second Quarter Results April 16th, 2021

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

Wearable sensors that detect gas leaks April 19th, 2021

New nanoscale device for spin technology: Spin waves could unlock the next generation of computer technology, a new component allows physicists to control them April 16th, 2021

New tech builds ultralow-loss integrated photonic circuits April 16th, 2021

Oregon scientists create mechanism to precisely control soundwaves in metamaterials: Theoretical modeling shows that designer materials incorporating drum-like membranes allow precise stoppage and reversal of sound pulses April 16th, 2021

Military

Fast-acting, color-changing molecular probe senses when a material is about to fail March 25th, 2021

Building tough 3D nanomaterials with DNA: Columbia Engineers use DNA nanotechnology to create highly resilient synthetic nanoparticle-based materials that can be processed through conventional nanofabrication methods March 19th, 2021

Nanotech scientists create world's smallest origami bird March 17th, 2021

Bioinformatics tool accurately tracks synthetic: DNA Computer scientists show benefits of bioinformatics with PlasmidHawk February 26th, 2021

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

New tech builds ultralow-loss integrated photonic circuits April 16th, 2021

Microscope that detects individual viruses could power rapid diagnostics March 19th, 2021

Teamwork makes light shine ever brighter: Combined energy sources return a burst of photons from plasmonic gold nanogaps March 18th, 2021

Compression or strain - the material expands always the same March 10th, 2021

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