Vikas Berry is a K-State assistant professor of chemical engineering who works with graphene, a carbon material only a single atom thick and discovered just five years ago. To functionalize graphene with gold -- thus controlling its electronics properties -- Berry and Kabeer Jasuja, a K-State doctoral student in chemical engineering, embedded gold on graphene.
To do this, the engineers placed the graphene oxide sheets in a gold ion solution that had a growth catalyst. Here, the atomically thick sheets swim and bathe in a pool of chemicals.
"Graphene-derivatives act like swimming molecular carpets when in solution and exhibit fascinating physiochemical behavior," Berry said. "If we change the surface functionality or the concentration, we can control their properties."
They found that rather than distributing itself evenly over graphene, the gold formed islands on the sheets' surfaces. They named these islands snowflake-shaped gold nanostars, or SFGNs.
"So we started exploring how these gold nanostars are formed," Berry said. "We found out that nanostars with no surface functionality are rather challenging to produce by other chemical processes. We can control the size of these nanostars and have characterized the mechanism of nucleation and growth of these nanostructures. It's similar to the mechanism that forms real snowflakes."
Berry said the presence of graphene is critical for the formation of the gold nanostars. "If graphene is absent, the gold would clump together and settle down as big chunks," he said. "But the graphene helps in stabilizing the gold. This makes the nanostars more useful for electronic applications."
In July, Jasuja and Berry published their work in the journal ACS-Nano.
The discovery of these gold "snowflakes" on graphene shows promise for biological devices as well as electronics. Berry is attaching DNA to these gold islands to make DNA sensors. He is joined by Nihar Mohanty, a doctoral student in chemical engineering, and undergraduate researcher Ashvin Nagaraja, a senior in electrical engineering. Nagaraja is a 2004 Manhattan High School graduate.
Berry said graphene-gold based DNA sensors will have enhanced sensitivity. Chemically reducing graphene oxide to obtain graphene requires harsh chemicals that destroy the DNA.
"Now we can use the harsh chemicals on graphene oxide imbedded with gold to obtain graphene with gold islands. Then we can use these gold islands to functionalize DNA."
Berry also is using graphene in conjunction with microwaves. He and Jasuja are "cooking" the graphene sheets as another way to produce particles on the material's surface.
Some of Berry's other graphene research involves using the modified graphene sheets to compartmentalize a coagulating solution, thus stabilizing it. His group has recently used hydrides to reduce graphene oxide to produce reduced graphene oxide in the matter of a few seconds. The graphene produced in this way can remain stable in the solution for several days. Further results will shortly appear in the journal Small.
Discovered only five years ago, graphene has captured the attention of a large number of researchers who are studying its exceptional electrical, mechanical and optical properties, Berry said. His research group is among the few studying the material's interfacial properties and biological applications.
"We're entering a new era," Berry said. "From the zero-dimensional or one-dimensional molecular or polymer solutions, we are now venturing into the two-dimensional graphene solutions, which have fascinating new properties."
Vikas Berry, 785-532-5519, email@example.com
Vikas Berry | Newswise Science News
Further reports about: > 24-Carat > 24-Carat Gold > DNA > Graphene Research > Graphene-derivatives > Magnetic Properties > Ornament > chemical engineering > chemical process > electrical properties > electronics applications > gold nanostars > golden discovery > graphene > graphene sheets > molecular carpets > snowflakes
Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics
23.03.2017 | North Carolina State University
TU Graz researchers show that enzyme function inhibits battery ageing
21.03.2017 | Technische Universität Graz
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...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences
28.03.2017 | Information Technology
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy