Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NC State’s New Molecular Template Makes a Virtue of Variation

30.07.2002


Why would an uneven coating of gold on a silica surface excite any interest, much less earn cover-story honors in a respected scientific journal?



This uneven coating - nanoparticles of gold in a layer that changes from very dense to very sparse across a surface of selected molecules - will allow improvements in a wide range of processes and devices. And it’s the decreasing concentration of the coating and overlaying particles, the designed-in gradient, that has chemical engineers and physicists taking note.

"This material promises to be the first in a series with many applications in electronics, chemistry and the life sciences," said Rajendra Bhat, a doctoral student at North Carolina State University and principal author of the study published in the July 23 issue of Langmuir: The American Chemical Society Journal of Surfaces and Colloids.


What Bhat and his mentor - Dr. Jan Genzer, assistant professor of chemical engineering at NC State -have created is a surface coated with "sticky" molecules in a decreasing density. Like paint from a roller that starts out thick and gradually thins out, this sticky layer captures particles (in this case, gold) in the same pattern of decreasing density.

A kind of molecular template, this adhesive surface can be modified to attract different kinds of particles for different applications, all of them arranged in useful gradients. According to Genzer, the ability to vary and control the concentration of captured particles allows chemists and other scientists to devise sensors, filters, DNA-screening processes and, potentially, single-electron capacitors and transistors, among other possibilities.

Some components of fluids, for example, could pass through the gaps in the less-concentrated part of the gradient, but be blocked by the thicker concentration. Such filters could also be designed to detect or capture harmful viruses or toxins. The controlled distribution of
particles also allows rapid testing of potential catalysts - always in demand by chemical, pharmaceutical and petroleum industries - because numerous substances and variations in their amounts can be tested simultaneously.

Genzer and Bhat initially attached gold nanoparticles to their sticky molecular template because gold is conductive, biocompatible and well understood. But experiments with other particles, bonded to other kinds of surfaces, are under way. The NC State chemical engineers admit they haven’t thought of all the possibilities. "There are many more applications," said Bhat, "and we are open for collaboration."

Dr. Daniel Fischer, a physicist from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology, collaborated with Genzer and Bhat on the project. Their novel invention was tested at the National Synchrotron Light Source at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Funding for the project was provided by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Genzer’s research is also featured in the June 28 issue of Macromolecular Theory and Simulations.

Dr. Jan Genzer | EurekAlert!

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht CeGlaFlex project: wafer-thin, unbreakable and flexible ceramic and glass
25.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht Additive manufacturing, from macro to nano
11.04.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>