Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


No Small Measure: Origins of Nanorod Diameter Discovered

A new study answers a key question at the very heart of nanotechnology: Why are nanorods so small?

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have discovered the origins of nanorod diameter, demonstrating that the competition and collaboration among various mechanisms of atomic transport hold the key to nanorod size.

The researchers say it is the first study to identify the fundamental reasons why nearly all nanorods have a diameter on the order of 100 nanometers.

“Scientists have been fabricating nanorods for decades, but no one has ever answered the question, ‘Why is that possible?’” said Hanchen Huang, professor in Rensselaer’s Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering, who led the study. “We have used computer modeling to identify, for the first time, the fundamental reasons behind nanorod diameter. With this new understanding, we should be able to better control nanorods, and therefore design better devices.”

Results of the study, titled “A characteristic length scale of nanorods diameter during growth,” were recently published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

When fabricating nanorods, atoms are released at an oblique angle onto a surface, and the atoms accumulate and grow into nanorods about 100 nanometers in diameter. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter in length.

The accumulating atoms form small layers. After being deposited onto a layer, it takes varying amounts of energy for atoms to travel or “step” downward to a lower layer, depending on the step height. In a previous study, Huang and colleagues calculated and identified these precise energy requirements. As a result, the researchers discovered the fundamental reason nanorods grow tall: as atoms are unable to step down to the next lowest layer, they begin to stack up and grow higher.

It is the cooperation and competition of atoms in this process of multi-layer diffusion that accounts for the fundamental diameter of nanorods, Huang shows in the new study. The rate at which atoms are being deposited onto the surface, as well as the temperature of the surface, also factor into the equation.

“Surface steps are effective in slowing down the mass transport of surface atoms, and aggregated surface steps are even more effective,” Huang said. “This extra effectiveness makes the diameter of nanorods around 100 nanometers; without it the diameter would go up to 10 microns.”

Beyond advancing scientific theory, Huang said the discovery could have implications for developing photonic materials and fuel cell catalysts.

Huang co-authored the paper with Rensselaer Research Scientist Longguang Zhou.

Funding for this research was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Science.

Visit Huang’s Web site for more information on his nanotechnology and materials research.

Contact: Michael Mullaney
Phone: (518) 276-6161

Michael Mullaney | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Move over, lasers: Scientists can now create holograms from neutrons, too
21.10.2016 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus
20.10.2016 | The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences

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: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>