Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Discovery of New Gigantic Swelling Phenomenon of Layered Crystal Driven by Water

02.05.2013
A research group at the International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA) of NIMS discovered an intriguing phenomenon in which an inorganic layered crystal expanded and contracted by 100 times its original size in a few seconds in an aqueous solution, displaying a behavior similar to a living cell.
A research group headed by Dr. Takayoshi Sasaki (MANA Principal Investigator), Dr. Renzhi Ma (MANA Scientist), and Dr. Fengxia Geng (Postdoctoral Researcher) of the International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA; Director-General: Masakazu Aono), National Institute for Materials Science (President: Sukekatsu Ushioda), discovered an intriguing phenomenon in which an inorganic layered crystal expanded and contracted by 100 times its original size in a few seconds when immersed in an aqueous solution, displaying a behavior similar to a living cell.

It is known that inorganic layered crystals intercalate various types of ions and molecules between their layers to show swelling when immersed in aqueous solutions, but the degree of swelling is normally on the order of several 10%. In some limited examples, swelling of several times has been achieved when a large volume of water was absorbed, as water is a solvent. However, in such cases, the force that acts between the layers is weakened, and the crystals will split into thin fragments under even a weak external force, such as shaking of the solution. For this reason, it has been virtually impossible to maintain a stable swelling exceeding 10 times the original size, and scientific understanding in connection with the swelling reaction of lamellar crystals had been limited.

In this research, the MANA group discovered that inorganic plate-shaped crystals such as lamellar metal oxides expand in an manner similar to an accordion, reaching 100 times their original length in the layer stacking direction in 1-2 seconds, under the action of a diluted aqueous solution of an organic compound having an amino group and a hydroxy group at its two ends. In one surprising finding, although the crystal expanded in a string-like manner, it remained stable and did not break, and it returned to its original state in several seconds when an acid was added. Although the lamellar crystal used in this research has a stacked structure comprising around 3000 layers, this means that a huge volume of water, sufficient to cause swelling of as much as 100 times, was absorbed into and then expelled from the interlayer space almost instantaneously, and in this process, the crystal behaved as a monolith without separation of the layers. This amazing phenomenon implies that the water, which is absorbed between the layers, has a special state, and theoretical calculations suggested that a strong, tough hydrogen bond network of water molecules is developed with the organic compound as the point of origin to stabilize the highly swollen structure.

These research results will contribute to advancing understanding of the synthesis process of 2-dimensional materials (graphene, nanosheets) via delamination of precursory lamellar compounds, which have been a “hot topic” in recent years, and to improving controllability of that process, and thus is expected to open the road to high yield synthesis of high grade nanosheets. This discovery is also expected to shed light on the unique behavior of water when enclosed in confined spaces, which is a key factor in biological phenomena, but is still an area where many questions remain to be answered.

These results were obtained as part of the research topic “Creation of New Nanostructured Materials and Manufacturing Processes for Next-Generation Electronics Using Inorganic Nanosheets” (Research Representative: Takayoshi Sasaki) in the CREST (team-oriented research with aim of achieving strategic goals) research project “Establishment of Innovative Manufacturing Technology Based on Nanotechnology” (Research Supervisor: Yasuhiro Horiike) of the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). These results were published in the online edition of the English scientific journal “Nature Communications” at 1:00a.m. March 28, 2013 Japanese time (16:00p.m. March 17 local time).

For more information, contact
Takayoshi Sasaki
International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics, NIMS
TEL:+81-29-860-4313
FAX:+81-29-860-4950
E-Mail: sasaki.takayoshi=nims.go.jp

MA Renzhi,
International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics. NIMS
TEL:+81-29-860-4124
FAX:+81-29-860-4950
E-Mail: ma.renzhi=nims.go.jp

Mikiko Tanifuji | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.nims.go.jp
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Nanomaterial makes laser light more applicable
28.03.2017 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht New value added to the ICSD (Inorganic Crystal Structure Database)
27.03.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Transport of molecular motors into cilia

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones

28.03.2017 | Information Technology

NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>