Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Argonne theorist gains new insight into the nature of nanodiamond

12.09.2005


The newest promising material for advanced technology applications is diamond nanotubes, and research at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory is giving new insight into the nature of nanodiamond.



Argonne researcher Amanda Barnard, theorist in the Center for Nanoscale Materials, is working with colleagues at two Italian universities who produced innovative diamond-coated nanotubes.

The diamond-coated tubes resemble a stick of rock candy, holding a layer of diamond 20 to 100 nm thick. A nanometer is one millionth of a millimeter. The period at the end of this sentence is about one million nanometers long. The technology in its fledgling state has already caught the eye of the electronics industry for the promise of ultra thin televisions with cathode ray tube-like quality picture at a fraction of today’s current flat panel television costs.


Diamond offers an amazing array of medical and technological possibilities. Wire molecules can be attached to it and diamond has superior light emission properties. While diamond is an insulating material, the surface is highly electronegative. A nanodiamond coating consists of pure surface diamond. This gives a diamond coated nanowire conductance from the nanotubes and the superior conduction from the diamond. Add to this superior light emission properties and very low voltage requirements, and the possibility exists for very flat, low energy displays.

"By using a more efficient conductor, nanotubes, with a more efficient field emitter, in this case nanodiamonds, you get more efficient devices," said Barnard. "A lot of groups are looking for something better to make electronic displays out of, and this is just another candidate that looks very promising."

Researchers from the University La Sapienza and the University Tor Vergata discovered the ability for a nanotube to grow nanodiamond under certain conditions in 2004, but did not know the specifics of how the diamond grew. To better understand the conditions that brought them their discovery, researchers from the group brought their discovery to Barnard.

Barnard, a postdoc from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University, published her original results on the modeling of diamond nanowires in the October 2003 issue of Nano Letters. Her theories earned her the recognition of the Italian group and she was approached in March of 2004 to help with calculations on their discovery.

"They could make them, but they couldn’t understand exactly what was happening or how they were forming," said Barnard. "They knew what it was, they could characterize it, but they didn’t know how the growth progressed."

Barnard calculated that during the process of etching – the term for the degradation of nanotubes – atomic hydrogen can change the hybridization of chemical bonds between carbon atoms of a nanotube.

"Traditionally in a hydrogen environment carbon nanotubes would fall apart and disintegrate, but something different was happening. We actually established that if the amount of hydrogen present [is in correct proportion], the defects that form will nucleate into diamond before there is a chance to etch."

These imperfections that form uniformly across the nanotube’s surface allow for the bonding of diamond molecules, which then begin to grow the length of the tube. An added bonus property is that the end of the nanotube is coated with a thicker bulb of nanodiamond and upon formation the structures stand upright without manipulation.

Barnard is now on a fellowship at Oxford University, but is continuing to conduct research at the Center for Nanoscale Materials, now under construction. Barnard has great expectations for the opportunities the new center will open up for nanoscale research.

"I hope that the CNM will give me more opportunity to collaborate with experimental groups," said Barnard. "I am a great advocate of doing experimentally relevant theory, and the CNM will be a great place for doing that."

The Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne is being built with funding from the Department of Energy Office of Science and the State of Illinois, each of which is contributing $35 million to construction and instrumentation of the facility.

Donna Jones Pelkie | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.anl.gov

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Explaining how 2-D materials break at the atomic level
18.01.2017 | Institute for Basic Science

nachricht Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously
17.01.2017 | Sonderforschungsbereich 668

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

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...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

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

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Explaining how 2-D materials break at the atomic level

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Data analysis optimizes cyber-physical systems in telecommunications and building automation

18.01.2017 | Information Technology

Reducing household waste with less energy

18.01.2017 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>