Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

‘There’s Gold In Them That Exhausts!’

30.08.2007
Leicester discovery paves way for extraordinary applications including targeted drug delivery and cleaner fuels

A University of Leicester research team is working on a new technique for growing nanoparticles which could have extraordinary implications in electronics, medicine, the measurement of atmospheric air and the cleansing of car exhausts.

Dr Andrew Ellis and Dr Shengfu Yang, both of the University’s Department of Chemistry, have discovered a niche way of making nanoparticles that cannot be formed in any other way.

Working with Professor Chris Binns and Dr Klaus von Haeften in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, they are developing a technique involving the use of helium nanodroplets.

These are droplets of superfluid liquid helium, consisting of thousands, even millions, of helium atoms loosely bound together.

Atoms and molecules can enter these droplets and can be assembled into structures that cannot be made by any conventional chemical synthesis.

Dr Ellis explained: “The technique gives us the ability to design nanoparticles layer by layer. These layers can be a solid, such as a metal, or a gas or liquid. So we could have a liquid or gaseous core with a solid shell round it.

“We are still exploring what uses this might have. We hope that it will enable us to design new types of catalysts for improved manufacture of chemicals. Other possibilities include the construction of nanoparticles for storing information in smaller hard disk drives in PCs, or maybe even a useful way of introducing small drug molecules into specific locations in the human body.”

The layer-by-layer growth of nanoparticles inside ultra-cold helium droplets will allow the researchers to synthesise entirely new classes of nanoparticles.

Some possibilities include:

Catalysis. An example is gold, which can already be obtained as pure nanoparticles with interesting properties as catalytic converters for cleaning carbon monoxide from car exhausts. Their efficiency depends on the size of the gold nanoparticles. Dr Ellis’s research team can not only control the size of the nanoparticles, but can also attempt to ‘tune’ the scrubbing efficiency by coating the gold onto a ‘core’ built from a different material.

Medicine. It is possible to trap a drug molecule in a water-filled shell and wrap it in a thin protective layer. This could then be injected to the site of interest in a body and the drug could be selectively released at the point desired, for instance by illumination with light sufficient to disrupt the protective shell.

Ather Mirza | alfa
Further information:
http://www.le.ac.uk

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy
24.03.2017 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst

nachricht Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core
24.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

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...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

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...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

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...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>