Spincasting, which utilizes centrifugal force to distribute a liquid onto a solid substrate, already has a variety of uses. For example, it is used in the electronics industry to deposit organic thin films on silicon wafers to create transistors.
This is an orientation map of a spin-cast array of FePt nanoparticles. Most nanoparticles are enclosed by a hexagon of six neighboring nanoparticles. Each nanoparticle was color coded according to the angle (in degrees) of the hexagon's orientation.
For this study, the researchers first dispersed magnetic nanoparticles coated with ligands into a solution. The ligands, small organic molecules that bond directly to metals, facilitate the even distribution of the nanoparticles in the solution – and, later, on the substrate itself.
A drop of the solution was then placed on a silicon chip that had been coated with a layer of silicon nitride. The chip was then rotated at high speed, which spread the nanoparticle solution over the surface of the chip. As the solution dried, a thin layer of nanoparticles was left on the surface of the substrate.
Using this technique, the researchers were able to create an ordered layer of nanoparticles on the substrate, over an area covering a few square microns. “The results are promising, and this approach definitely merits further investigation,” says Dr. Joe Tracy, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the study.
Tracy explains that one benefit of spincasting is that it is a relatively quick way to deposit a layer of nanoparticles. “It also has commercial potential as a cost-effective way of creating nanoparticle thin films,” Tracy says.
However, the approach still faces several hurdles. Tracy notes that modifications to the technique are needed, so that it can be used to coat a larger surface area with nanoparticles. Additional research is also needed to learn how, or whether, the technique can be modified to achieve a more even distribution of nanoparticles over that surface area.
Analysis of the nanoparticle films created using spincasting led to another development as well. The researchers adapted analytical tools to evaluate transmission electron microscopy images of the films they created. One benefit of using these graphical tools is their ability to identify and highlight defects in the crystalline structure of the layer. “These methods for image analysis allow us to gain a detailed understanding of how the nanoparticle size and shape distributions affect packing into monolayers,” Tracy says.
The paper, “Formation and Grain Analysis of Spin Cast Magnetic Nanoparticle Monolayers,” was published online March 24 by the journal Langmuir. The paper was co-authored by Tracy; NC State Ph.D. student Aaron Johnston-Peck; and former NC State post-doctoral research associate Dr. Junwei Wang. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and Protochips, Inc.
NC State’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering is part of the university’s College of Engineering.
Matt Shipman | EurekAlert!
New biomaterial could replace plastic laminates, greatly reduce pollution
21.09.2017 | Penn State
Stopping problem ice -- by cracking it
21.09.2017 | Norwegian University of Science and Technology
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine
25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy