Too much heat can destroy a sturdy automobile engine or a miniature microchip. As scientists and engineers strive to make ever-smaller nanoscale devices, from molecular motors and switches to single-molecule transistors, the control of heat is becoming a burning issue.
The shapes of molecules really matter, say scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Scranton who timed the flow of vibrational heat energy through a water-surfactant-organic solvent system. The rate at which heat energy moves through a molecule depends specifically on the molecule’s structure, they found. "The flow of vibrational energy across a molecule is dependent upon where and how the energy is deposited," said Dana Dlott, a professor of chemistry at Illinois and a co-author of a paper to appear in the journal Science, as part of the Science Express Web site, on Sept. 23. "Unlike normal heat conduction, different excitations may travel across the molecule along different paths and at different rates."
To monitor energy flow, Dlott and his colleagues - Scranton chemistry professor John Deak, Illinois postdoctoral research associate Zhaohui Wang and graduate student Yoonsoo Pang, and Scranton undergraduate student Timothy Sechler - used an ultrafast laser spectrometer technique with picosecond time resolution.
The system the scientists studied is called a reverse micelle, and consisted of a nanodroplet containing 35 water molecules enclosed in a sphere of surfactant (sodium dioctyl sulfosuccinate) one molecule thick that was suspended in carbon tetrachloride. The ultrafast laser technique, developed at Illinois, monitored vibrational energy flow as it moved from water, through the surfactant shell out to the organic solvent, atom by atom.
When the researchers deposited energy in the nanodroplet, the vibrations moved through the surfactant and into the carbon tetrachloride within 10 picoseconds. However, when the energy was deposited directly into the surfactant, the vibrations required 20 to 40 picoseconds to move into the carbon tetrachloride. Even though the distance was shorter, the energy transfer took significantly longer. "This is opposite of what you would think in terms of simple and ordinary heat conduction," Dlott said. "To explain this strange result, we have to analyze the energy transfer in terms of specific vibrational couplings that occur through a vibrational cascade."
There are hundreds of different vibrations in the water-surfactant-organic solvent system, Dlott said. "When energy moves through molecules, the detailed structure of the molecules and the way the vibrations interact are extremely important."
When the water was excited by a laser pulse, the scientists report, much of the energy was immediately moved to the surfactant, which then efficiently transferred the energy to the carbon tetrachloride. But when the surfactant was excited by the laser, the energy took a different path among the atoms, delaying the transfer to the carbon tetrachloride.
"The movement of vibrational energy within and between molecules is a fundamental process that plays a significant role in condensed matter physics and chemistry," Dlott said. "In designing nanoscale devices, the shapes of the molecules must be designed not only to be small and fast, but also to efficiently move heat."
The National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the U.S. Department of Energy supported this work.
James E. Kloeppel | University of Illinois
Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm
23.03.2018 | Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics
Drug or duplicate?
23.03.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Festkörperphysik IAF
Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.
The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
23.03.2018 | Event News
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences
23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy