The new device is at least 10 times more sensitive than existing technology, researchers say, can be tuned to sense different types of materials and is easy to make in differing sizes for individual needs. It's one of the first real applications of "metamaterials" – artificial materials that have unusual properties based on their structure, which are not readily available in nature.
The findings were announced today in Nature Materials, a professional journal. Collaborators on the project included OSU, the Universite de Mediterranee in France, Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal in Canada, and the Queen's University of Belfast in the United Kingdom. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation and other agencies.
"This is very exciting," said Viktor Podolskiy, an associate professor of physics at OSU. "It's an important new application of nanotechnology and the field of metamaterials, and should find some significant uses in medicine, chemistry and physics."
The new material is made primarily from gold, but given the minuscule size of the device, the high cost of gold is actually of little importance – and the use of gold aids its performance, because this rare metal is very inert and doesn't interact with biological or many other molecules. The device is a little like the bristles that stick up on a hairbrush, but in this case the bristles are only about 20 nanometers wide – it would take 5,000 such bristles to be the width of a human hair.
Using this device and various optical techniques, sensors can determine very precisely the identity and amount of various substances, including extremely small compounds such as drugs, vitamins or hormones. The concept should find near-term applications in medicine and other fields, scientists say.
Viktor Podolskiy | Newswise Science News
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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...
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...
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...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
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...
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