Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Graphene plasmonics beats the drug cheats

14.01.2013
Writing in Nature Materials, the scientists, working with colleagues from Aix-Marseille University, have created a device which potentially can see one molecule though a simple optical system and can analyse its components within minutes. This uses plasmonics – the study of vibrations of electrons in different materials.

The breakthrough could allow for rapid and more accurate drug testing for professional athletes as it could detect the presence of even trace amounts of a substance.

It could also be used at airports or other high-security locations to prevent would-be terrorists from concealing explosives or traffickers from smuggling drugs. Another possible use could be detecting viruses people might be suffering from.

Graphene, isolated for the first time at The University of Manchester in 2004, has the potential to revolutionise diverse applications from smartphones and ultrafast broadband to drug delivery and computer chips.

It has the potential to replace existing materials, such as silicon, but University of Manchester researchers believe it could truly find its place with new devices and materials yet to be invented.

The researchers, lead by Dr Sasha Grigorenko, suggested a new type of sensing devices: artificial materials with topological darkness. The devices show extremely high response to an attachment of just one relatively small molecule. This high sensitivity relies on topological properties of light phase.

To test their devices, researches covered them with graphene. They then introduced hydrogen onto the graphene, which allowed them to calibrate their devices with far superior sensitivity than with any other material.

Testing for toxins or drugs could be done using a simple blood test, with highly-accurate results in minutes. The researchers found that the sensitivity of their devices is three orders of magnitude better than that of existing models.

The academics, from the School of Physics and Astronomy, hope the research will show the practical applications from an emerging area of research – singular optics.

Dr Grigorenko said: "The whole idea of this device is to see single molecules, and really see them, under a simple optical system, say a microscope.

"The singular optics which utilise the unusual phase properties of light is a big and emerging field of research, and we have shown how it can have practical applications which could be of great benefit.

"Graphene was one of the best materials we could have used to measure the sensitivity of these molecules. It is so easy to put the hydrogen on to it in controlled way.

"We are only starting to scratch the surface of what this research might tell us but it could have profound implications for drug detection, security and viruses."

Professor Andre Geim and Professor Kostya Novoselov won the Nobel prize for Physics in 2010 for their groundbreaking work on graphene.

Daniel Cochlin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.manchester.ac.uk

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk
20.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

nachricht Treated carbon pulls radioactive elements from water
20.01.2017 | Rice University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>