Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rolling out the nanotubes

27.07.2009
Nanoscale materials with well-defined shapes, such as one-dimensional hollow tubes, have attracted the interest of scientists seeking to utilize their unique properties.

Nanotubes have large inner and outer surface areas that are accessible to many smaller molecules, meaning they have the potential to be developed into new types of sensors and catalysts.

Efficient techniques to synthesize nanotubes, however, are uncommon. Now, Takuzo Aida and Takanori Fukushima of the RIKEN Advanced Science Institute in Wako and colleagues from the Japan Science and Technology Agency have developed a way to controllably self-assemble graphitic molecules and platinum metals into nanotubes with specific dimensions and structural features1.

Aida and his team used a molecule called hexabenzocoronene (HBC) as the base for their new nanotubes. Consisting of thirteen aromatic benzene rings interlocked into a large, flat cyclic structure that resembles graphite, HBC is normally used as a building block for liquid crystalline semiconductors.

In 2004, Aida, Fukushima, and colleagues discovered that by adding long hydrocarbon groups and polar chains called triethylene glycol to HBC, they could make the graphitic molecule into an amphiphile2—a surfactant that can be dissolved in organic solvents. Recrystallizing a solution of the HBC amphiphiles spontaneously produced new graphitic nanotubes.

In their latest work, the researchers incorporated platinum metals into their nanotubes structures. According to Fukushima, transition metals such as platinum can add useful catalytic, electronic, luminescent, and magnetic functionalities to the nanotubes.

In order to attach platinum metals to the nanotubes, the scientists added a molecule known as pyridine, a nitrogen-containing benzene ring, to the ends of the triethylene glycol chains on the HBC amphiphile.

“Pyridine is one of the simplest and most common molecules for binding transition metals,” explains Fukushima. “We thought it fit to use such a general binding molecule in our first attempt to functionalize the HBC nanotubes with transition metals.”

By heating a solution of the HBC amphiphiles with platinum metal ions, then allowing the mixture to cool to room temperature, the scientists observed spontaneous formation of new metal-ion-coated graphitic nanotubes. Altering the assembly conditions produced tubular assemblies with different diameters, lengths, and wall widths.

“Our nanotube can serve as a unique one-dimensional nano-scaffold with not only high structural integrity, but also with beneficial electronic properties such as energy and charge transport capabilities,” says Fukushima. “We expect that the combination of these two components might lead to unprecedented phenomenon and functions.”

Reference

1. Zhang, W., Jin, W., Fukushima, T., Ishii, N. & Aida, T. Metal-ion-coated graphitic nanotubes: controlled self-assembly of a pyridyl-appended gemini-shaped hexabenzocoronene amphiphile. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 121, 4841–4844 (2009).

2. Hill, J. P., Jin, W., Kosaka, A., Fukushima, T., Ichihara, H., Shimomura, T., Ito, K., Hashizume, T., Ishii, N. & Aida, T. Self-assembled hexa-peri-hexabenzocoronene graphitic nanotube. Science 304, 1481–1483 (2004).

The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the RIKEN Functional Soft Matter Engineering Team

Saeko Okada | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.rikenresearch.riken.jp/research/753/
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria
23.05.2017 | Rice University

nachricht Discovery of an alga's 'dictionary of genes' could lead to advances in biofuels, medicine
23.05.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object

23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Medical gamma-ray camera is now palm-sized

23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>