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 Innovative process for environmentally friendly manure treatment comes onto the market
03.05.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

nachricht No compromises: Combining the benefits of 3D printing and casting
23.03.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung IPA

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

24.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Space-like gravity weakens biochemical signals in muscle formation

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>