Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International



Home > Press > Weak force has strong impact on nanosheets: Rice lab finds van der Waals force can deform nanoscale silver for optics, catalytic use

A transmission electron microscope image by Rice University scientists shows a silver nanoplate deformed by a particle, forming flower-shaped stress contours in the material that indicate a bump. Changing the shape of the material changes its electromagnetic properties, making it suitable for catalysis or optical applications. (Credit: The Jones Lab/Rice University)
A transmission electron microscope image by Rice University scientists shows a silver nanoplate deformed by a particle, forming flower-shaped stress contours in the material that indicate a bump. Changing the shape of the material changes its electromagnetic properties, making it suitable for catalysis or optical applications. (Credit: The Jones Lab/Rice University)

Abstract:
You have to look closely, but the hills are alive with the force of van der Walls.

Weak force has strong impact on nanosheets: Rice lab finds van der Waals force can deform nanoscale silver for optics, catalytic use

Houston, TX | Posted on December 15th, 2020

Rice University scientists found that nature’s ubiquitous “weak” force is sufficient to indent rigid nanosheets, extending their potential for use in nanoscale optics or catalytic systems.

Changing the shape of nanoscale particles changes their electromagnetic properties, said Matt Jones, the Norman and Gene Hackerman Assistant Professor of Chemistry and an assistant professor of materials science and nanoengineering. That makes the phenomenon worth further study.

“People care about particle shape, because the shape changes its optical properties,” Jones said. “This is a totally novel way of changing the shape of a particle.”

Jones and graduate student Sarah Rehn led the study in the American Chemical Society’s Nano Letters.

Van der Waals is a weak force that allows neutral molecules to attract one another through randomly fluctuating dipoles, depending on distance. Though small, its effects can be seen in the macro world, like when geckos walk up walls.

“Van der Waals forces are everywhere and, essentially, at the nanoscale everything is sticky,” Jones said. “When you put a large, flat particle on a large, flat surface, there’s a lot of contact, and it’s enough to permanently deform a particle that’s really thin and flexible.”

In the new study, the Rice team decided to see if the force could be used to manipulate 8-nanometer-thick sheets of ductile silver. After a mathematical model showed them it was possible, they placed 15-nanometer-wide iron oxide nanospheres on a surface and sprinkled prism-shaped nanosheets over them.

Without applying any other force, they saw through a transmission electron microscope that the nanosheets acquired permanent bumps where none existed before, right on top of the spheres. As measured, the distortions were about 10 times larger than the width of the spheres.

The hills weren’t very high, but simulations confirmed that van der Waals attraction between the sheet and the substrate surrounding the spheres was sufficient to influence the plasticity of the silver’s crystalline atomic lattice. They also showed that the same effect would occur in silicon dioxide and cadmium selenide nanosheets, and perhaps other compounds.

“We were trying to make really thin, large silver nanoplates and when we started taking images, we saw these strange, six-fold strain patterns, like flowers,” said Jones, who earned a multiyear Packard Fellowship in 2018 to develop advanced microscopy techniques.

“It didn’t make any sense, but we eventually figured out that it was a little ball of gunk that the plate was draped over, creating the strain,” he said. “We didn’t think anyone had investigated that, so we decided to have a look.

“What it comes down to is that when you make a particle really thin, it becomes really flexible, even if it’s a rigid metal,” Jones said.

In further experiments, the researchers saw nanospheres could be used to control the shape of the deformation, from single ridges when two spheres are close, to saddle shapes or isolated bumps when the spheres are farther apart.

They determined that sheets less than about 10 nanometers thick and with aspect ratios of about 100 are most amenable to deformation.

The researchers noted their technique creates “a new class of curvilinear structures based on substrate topography” that “would be difficult to generate lithographically.” That opens new possibilities for electromagnetic devices that are especially relevant to nanophotonic research.

Straining the silver lattice also turns the inert metal into a possible catalyst by creating defects where chemical reactions can happen.

“This gets exciting because now, most people make these kinds of metamaterials through lithography,” Jones said. “That’s a really powerful tool, but once you’ve used that to pattern your metal, you can never change it.

“Now we have the option, perhaps someday, to build a material that has one set of properties and then change it by deforming it,” he said. “Because the forces required to do so are so small, we hope to find a way to toggle between the two.”

Co-authors of the paper are graduate student Theodor Gerrard-Anderson, postdoctoral researchers Liang Qiao and Qing Zhu, and Geoff Wehmeyer, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

The Robert A. Welch Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the National Science Foundation supported the research.

####

About Rice University
Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,978 undergraduates and 3,192 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 1 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Jeff Falk
713-348-6775


Mike Williams
713-348-6728

Copyright © Rice University

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

Read the abstract at:

The Jones Lab:

Department of Chemistry:

Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering:

Related News Press

News and information

Engineering piezoelectricity and strain sensitivity in CdS to promote piezocatalytic hydrogen evolution May 13th, 2022

New nanomechanical oscillators with record-low loss May 13th, 2022

Small microring array enables large complex-valued matrix multiplication May 13th, 2022

Study finds nanomedicine targeting lymph nodes key to triple negative breast cancer treatment: In mice, nanomedicine can remodel the immune microenvironment in lymph node and tumor tissue for long-term remission and lung tumor elimination in this form of metastasized breast cance May 13th, 2022

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Lightening up the nanoscale long-wavelength optoelectronics May 13th, 2022

On-Chip Photodetection: Two-dimensional material heterojunctions hetero-integration May 13th, 2022

Small microring array enables large complex-valued matrix multiplication May 13th, 2022

The future of desalination? A fast, efficient, selective membrane for purifying saltwater May 13th, 2022

Possible Futures

Engineering piezoelectricity and strain sensitivity in CdS to promote piezocatalytic hydrogen evolution May 13th, 2022

New nanomechanical oscillators with record-low loss May 13th, 2022

Small microring array enables large complex-valued matrix multiplication May 13th, 2022

Study finds nanomedicine targeting lymph nodes key to triple negative breast cancer treatment: In mice, nanomedicine can remodel the immune microenvironment in lymph node and tumor tissue for long-term remission and lung tumor elimination in this form of metastasized breast cance May 13th, 2022

Optical computing/Photonic computing

Lightening up the nanoscale long-wavelength optoelectronics May 13th, 2022

On-Chip Photodetection: Two-dimensional material heterojunctions hetero-integration May 13th, 2022

Small microring array enables large complex-valued matrix multiplication May 13th, 2022

Rice ‘metalens’ could disrupt vacuum UV market: Solid-state nanophotonic technology could potentially replace cabinets of equipment May 6th, 2022

Discoveries

Going gentle on mechanical quantum systems: New experimental work establishes how quantum properties of mechanical quantum systems can be measured without destroying the quantum state May 13th, 2022

New nanomechanical oscillators with record-low loss May 13th, 2022

Small microring array enables large complex-valued matrix multiplication May 13th, 2022

Study finds nanomedicine targeting lymph nodes key to triple negative breast cancer treatment: In mice, nanomedicine can remodel the immune microenvironment in lymph node and tumor tissue for long-term remission and lung tumor elimination in this form of metastasized breast cance May 13th, 2022

Materials/Metamaterials

When a band falls flat: Searching for flatness in materials: International collaboration, led by DIPC and Princeton, creates a catalogue of materials that could impact quantum technologies April 1st, 2022

Studying atomic structure of aluminum alloys for manufacturing modern aircraft March 25th, 2022

Unexplored dimensions of porous metamaterials: Researchers unlock hidden potential in a long-studied group of materials March 18th, 2022

Copper doping enables safer, cost-effective hydrogen peroxide production February 11th, 2022

Announcements

Engineering piezoelectricity and strain sensitivity in CdS to promote piezocatalytic hydrogen evolution May 13th, 2022

New nanomechanical oscillators with record-low loss May 13th, 2022

Small microring array enables large complex-valued matrix multiplication May 13th, 2022

Study finds nanomedicine targeting lymph nodes key to triple negative breast cancer treatment: In mice, nanomedicine can remodel the immune microenvironment in lymph node and tumor tissue for long-term remission and lung tumor elimination in this form of metastasized breast cance May 13th, 2022

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

Lightening up the nanoscale long-wavelength optoelectronics May 13th, 2022

On-Chip Photodetection: Two-dimensional material heterojunctions hetero-integration May 13th, 2022

Development of high-durability single-atomic catalyst using industrial humidifier: Identification of the operating mechanism of cobalt-based single-atomic catalyst and development of a mass production process. Utilization for catalyst development in various fields including fuel May 13th, 2022

Engineering piezoelectricity and strain sensitivity in CdS to promote piezocatalytic hydrogen evolution May 13th, 2022

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

Lightening up the nanoscale long-wavelength optoelectronics May 13th, 2022

On-Chip Photodetection: Two-dimensional material heterojunctions hetero-integration May 13th, 2022

Small microring array enables large complex-valued matrix multiplication May 13th, 2022

Study finds nanomedicine targeting lymph nodes key to triple negative breast cancer treatment: In mice, nanomedicine can remodel the immune microenvironment in lymph node and tumor tissue for long-term remission and lung tumor elimination in this form of metastasized breast cance May 13th, 2022

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Lightening up the nanoscale long-wavelength optoelectronics May 13th, 2022

On-Chip Photodetection: Two-dimensional material heterojunctions hetero-integration May 13th, 2022

Small microring array enables large complex-valued matrix multiplication May 13th, 2022

Rice ‘metalens’ could disrupt vacuum UV market: Solid-state nanophotonic technology could potentially replace cabinets of equipment May 6th, 2022

Printing/Lithography/Inkjet/Inks/Bio-printing/Dyes

On-Chip Photodetection: Two-dimensional material heterojunctions hetero-integration May 13th, 2022

With a zap of light, system switches objects' colors and patterns: "Programmable matter" technique could enable product designers to churn out prototypes with ease May 6th, 2021

New 3D-Bioprinter + Bioink Use Living Cells Straight From Culture Plate: Cell models mimicking natural tissue topography herald new era for biomedical research April 13th, 2021

Materials scientists learn how to make liquid crystal shape-shift September 25th, 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