Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A New Way Forward for Nanocomposite Nanostructures

26.02.2010
Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory and the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign recently reported a new technique for directly writing composites of nanoparticles and polymers.

Recent years have seen significant advances in the properties achieved by both these materials, and so researchers have begun to blend these materials into nanocomposites that access the properties of both materials.

The heated probe of an atomic force microscope melts a nanoparticle-polymer composite enabling it to flow onto a surface. The nanocomposite can be used as-is or the nanoparticles released with an oxygen plasma. (Image courtesy of UIUC and NRL.) Forming these nanocomposites into structures has been tricky since each nanocomposite would require a particular set of solvents or a particular surface coating.

To solve this problem, the NRL and UIUC team developed a generic means for depositing many nanocomposites on multiple surfaces with nanoscale precision. Metal nanoparticles that were conducting, tiny magnetic nanoparticles, and nanoparticles that glowed, were all deposited using this one technique.

The technique builds on previous work using atomic force microscopy (AFM) probes as pens to produce nanometer-scale patterns. The polymer-nanocomposite blend is coated onto the probe. When the probe is heated, it acts like a miniature soldering iron to deposit the nanocomposite. "This technique greatly simplifies nanocomposite deposition," said Paul E. Sheehan, head of the Surface Nanoscience and Sensor Technology Section at NRL in Washington, D.C. "No longer do you have to spend half a year tweaking the chemistry of the surface or nanocomposite to achieve deposition."

The technique also solves a common problem when depositing soft materials like polymers and nanocomposites. The solvents and patterning procedures for depositing soft materials can damage any soft material already deposited. Consequently, it can be quite difficult to deposit many different such materials. "Our ability to control nanometer-scale heat sources allows local thermal processing of these nanocomposites," says William King, Kritzer Faculty Scholar in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. This opens a door to the direct writing of highly complex structures.

Although the nanoparticles were typically dispersed throughout the nanocomposite, the researchers found that by adjusting the nanoparticle chemistry they could force the nanoparticles into alignment. "With the right chemistry, the forces in the polymer will guide the nanoparticles into thin rows." Rows of nanoparticles less than 10 nm wide were written, narrower than any other direct write technique. The string of magnetic nanoparticles should be useful for studying magnetic interactions on the smallest scales. "Combining with our nanolithographic technique these tiny magnetic nanostructures can be added to current electronic or MEMS devices to enhance their capabilities." says Woo Kyung Lee.

"These capabilities and those of the other nanocomposites may find novel applications from microelectronics to biomedical devices."

The technique was published on January 13th, 2010, in the journal Nano Letters. The research was sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Donna McKinney | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nrl.navy.mil

Further reports about: NRL Nanocomposite Nanostructures magnetic nanoparticles uiuc

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics
25.04.2017 | University of Delaware

nachricht Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging
24.04.2017 | Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH)

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA examines newly formed Tropical Depression 3W in 3-D

26.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering

26.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>