Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers from Saarbruecken arrange nanoparticles like "giant atoms"

18.06.2012
Scientists at INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials found out that certain nanoparticles assemble into groups as if they were atoms. Like the atoms of metals or noble gases, they form specific structures depending on their number.
Through their findings, the researchers are now able to make precisely defined structures from nanoparticles. Normally, nanoparticles form rather disordered, often loose and fuzzy clusters. The results were recently published in the scientific magazine "Nano Letters".

The researchers assume that this unexpected behavior derives from the smallness of the nanoparticles. "We assume that the nanoparticles with a core diameter of only six nanometers show a behavior similar to atoms: They move very fast, collide with each other and attract each other", explains Tobias Kraus, head of the Structure Formation Group. Therefore, they can assemble almost as orderly as atoms.
Depending on the number of nanoparticles, the scientists can now predict which three-dimensional lattice are formed by the particles. "Imagine that clusters with 20 particles look like a sphere, whereas 40 particles arrange rather like a cube and 60 particles form a pyramid", explains Kraus, who holds degrees in materials science and chemical engineering. It is possible to produce specific shapes by defining the quantity of the nanoparticles in the production process. "Since nanoparticles arranged as a sphere have different properties than nanoparticles arranged as a cube, we can influence properties by the number of the particles", says Kraus. "A rather elongated cluster may not fit through the pores of a filter, for example, although it contains more particles than a spherical cluster."

The scientists use a well-established principle to force the nanoparticles into this highly ordered structure. To begin with, all gold nanoparticles must be of the same size, which is achieved in a classic preparation procedure: The researchers dissolve little bars of gold in a concentrated acid, combine the dissolved gold with organic molecules and add surface-active substances. When heating this mixture, the scientists obtain nanoparticles with a diameter of six millionths of a millimeter. The nanoparticles swim in oil, which is then dispersed into droplets. Each droplet contains several nanoparticles. "As these droplets evaporate, the space for the nanoparticles is increasingly reduced so that they assemble in an orderly manner and form the ordered clusters", says Kraus.

In the future, the group will integrate various particles into the clusters, each of them having a different task. This may be a first step to building microscopic machinery from particles.
Original publication: Johann Lacava, Philip Born, Tobias, Kraus, "Nanoparticle Clusters with Lennard-Jones Geometries", Nano Letters, DOI: 10.1021/nl3013659

Contact:
Dr. Tobias Kraus
Structure Formation Group
INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials
Phone: +49 681 9300 389
Email: tobias.kraus@inm-gmbh.de

INM is focused on the research and development of materials – for today, tomorrow and the future. Chemists, physicists, biologists, materials and engineering scientists shape the work at INM. From molecule to pilot production, they follow the recurring questions: Which material properties are new, how can they be investigated and how can they be used in the future?

INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials, situated in Saarbruecken/Germany, is an internationally leading centre for materials research. It is a scientific partner to national and international institutes and a provider of research and development for companies throughout the world. INM is an institute of the Scientific Association Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and employs around 180 collaborators. Its main research fields are Chemical Nanotechnology, Interface Materials, and Materials in Biology.

Dr. Carola Jung | idw
Further information:
http://www.inm-gmbh.de/
http://www.wgl.de/

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht High-tech sensing illuminates concrete stress testing
20.07.2017 | University of Leeds

nachricht Here's a tip: Indented cement shows unique properties
20.07.2017 | 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: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

Leipzig HTP-Forum discusses "hydrothermal processes" as a key technology for a biobased economy

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers create new technique for manipulating polarization of terahertz radiation

20.07.2017 | Information Technology

High-tech sensing illuminates concrete stress testing

20.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

First direct observation and measurement of ultra-fast moving vortices in superconductors

20.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>