Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists Create the First Synthetic Nanoscale Fractal Molecule

15.05.2006


From snowflakes to the leaves on a tree, objects in nature are made of irregular molecules called fractals. Scientists now have created and captured an image of the largest man-made fractal molecule at the nanoscale.



The molecule, developed by researchers at the University of Akron, Ohio University and Clemson University, eventually could lead to new types of photoelectric cells, molecular batteries and energy storage, according to the scientists, whose study was published online today by the journal Science.

A University of Akron research team led by Vice President for Research George Newkome used molecular self-assembly techniques to synthesize the molecule in the laboratory. The molecule, bound with ions of iron and ruthenium, forms a hexagonal gasket.


Ohio University physicists Saw-Wai Hla and Violeta Iancu, who specialize in imaging objects at the nanoscale, confirmed the creation of the man-made fractal. To capture the image, the physicists sprayed the molecules onto a piece of gold, chilled them to minus 449 degrees Fahrenheit to keep them stable, and then viewed them with a scanning tunneling microscope.

Though invisible to the naked eye – the molecules are about one million times smaller than the colorful hexagons shown in the Science image – the objects are 12 nanometers wide. “That’s big for a nanoscale molecule. It’s huge,” said Hla, an associate professor of physics and astronomy.

“This man-made structure is one of the first nanoscale, non-branched fractal molecules ever produced,” said Newkome, who is lead author on the Science paper and also serves as dean of the Graduate School and the James and Vanita Oelschlager Professor of Science and Technology at the University of Akron. “Blending mathematics, art and science, these nanoscopic hexagonal-shaped materials can be self-assembled and resemble a fine bead necklace. These precise polymers — the first example of a molecule possessing a ‘Star of David’ motif — may provide an entrée into novel new types of photoelectric cells, molecular batteries and energy storage.”

Fractals are irregular curves or shapes that retain the same pattern when reduced or magnified. The molecule in the study, for example, is composed of six rings, which are made up of six smaller rings, and so on, Hla explained. Snowflakes, broccoli florets or tree bark would be just a few examples from nature.

Hla and Iancu, a graduate student, also were able to measure the electronic structure of the molecule, which is useful to know for possible electronic applications. “(The molecules) are unique in their own way, so you have to find out what kind of properties they have so we can initiate possible applications,” he said.

The study authors were George R. Newkome, Pingshan Wang, Charles N. Moorefield, Tae Joon Cho, Prabhu Mohapatra, Sinan Li, Seok-Ho Hwang and Judith A. Palagallo, all from the University of Akron; Violeta Iancu and Saw-Wai Hla of Ohio University; and Olena Lukoyanova and Luis Echegoyen of Clemson University.

The research was supported by the National Science Foundation, Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Ohio Board of Regents.

Hla is a member of Ohio University’s Nanoscale & Quantum Phenomena Institute, Condensed Matter and Surface Science group and Biomimetic Nanoscience and Nanotechnology group, which is part of Ohio University’s $8 million NanoBioTechnology Initiative, one of three major research priorities of the institution.

Andrea Gibson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ohio.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation
19.01.2018 | Carnegie Institution for Science

nachricht Artificial agent designs quantum experiments
19.01.2018 | Universität Innsbruck

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>