Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Not-So-Spotty Material Breakthrough

01.09.2004


Transmission electron microscope image of nickel nanodots embedded in an aluminum oxide matrix. Credit: Jagdish Narayan and Ashutosh Tiwari, North Carolina State University/NSF Center for Advanced Materials and Smart Structures.


Researchers master self-assembly of novel nanodots

Using pulsed lasers, researchers have coaxed the metal nickel to self-assemble into arrays of nanodots – each spot a mere seven nanometers (seven billionths of a meter) across – one-tenth the diameter of existing nanodots.

Because the method works with a variety of materials and may drastically reduce imperfections, the new procedure may also bolster research into extremely hard materials and efforts to develop ultra-dense computer memory.



The researchers are working with an industry partner to apply the technique to development of next-generation light-emitting diodes (LEDs) – the small, bright lights seen in traffic signals and luxury automobile brake lights. The experimental LEDs are already more efficient than existing devices, potentially lasting decades and using a fraction of the power of fluorescent bulbs.

Jagdish Narayan and Ashutosh Tiwari, both of North Carolina State University and the National Science Foundation’s Center for Advanced Materials and Smart Structures, invented the new materials and manufacturing processes.

They announced their findings in the September, 2004, issue of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.

Narayan and Tiwari used a pulsed excimer laser to create conditions under which nickel self-assembles into 3-D, ordered arrays within aluminum oxide and titanium nitride matrices. Applying similar techniques to gallium nitride and zinc oxide, the researchers are hoping to further improve the efficiency of their LED devices.

Computer applications are further away, as many additional hurdles need to be cleared before the nanodots become actual chips. However, since every nickel-metal nanodot could theoretically store a single bit of information, the researchers believe that a one-inch chip using that technology could eventually store 10 Terabits of data.

According to the researchers, the chip would theoretically have several hundred times more storage than conventional microchips of the same size. Five Terabits could fit on, coincidentally, a nickel. If nanodot memory chips eventually succeed, the entire contents of the Library of Congress could fit onto a pocket full of "change."

From the researchers:

"The grand challenge is to build, efficiently and reliably, a nanostructure using nanounits. But nature doesn’t like to create nano-sized units of uniform size—they are at a higher energy state." – Jagdish "Jay" Narayan, John C. C. Fan Family Distinguished Chair in Materials Science at North Carolina State University and Director, NSF Center for Advanced Materials and Smart Structures

"Controlled processing and self-assembly in three dimensions are required because you cannot create these structures and then assemble them. They are too small. So to be able to use this technology, you must have self-assembly and it must be 3-D." – Jagdish "Jay" Narayan

"In the past we could make only one-layer structures and 3-D self-assembly wasn’t possible. We couldn’t control the medium. Now, with this development we can control the medium and do 3-D self-organization. More importantly we can change the size in different layers and can change the functionality at different depths." – Jagdish "Jay" Narayan

"The research provides the basic framework for nanostructured materials for information storage, spin transistors, single-electron transistors and hydrid devices, superhard coatings, and novel biomaterials." – Jagdish "Jay" Narayan

"In the 6-10 nm dots created so far, we have the ability to control the spin patterns – the spin is what stores the bit of information. Assuming a 7nm magnetic nanodot will store one bit of information, we can achieve over 10 trillion bits per square inch, which is close to 500 times the existing storage density." – Jagdish "Jay" Narayan

From experts at NSF:

"Narayan has used the basic concepts of self-assembly to create a 3-D array of nanodots which may have significant applications in lighting, lasers, spintronics, and optical devices. If developed for practical applications in the next 2-3 years, the nanodot lighting systems may have significant environmental, economic and energy-saving advantages." – Mihail C. Roco, Senior Advisor for Nanotechnology, NSF

"The study shows the importance of basic research and encouraging technical innovation. This device is part of the first generation of passive nanostructures and illustrates how one might exploit new phenomena and behavior of materials at the nanoscale for economic advantage." – Mihail C. Roco

"In a way, this is an illustration of a general objective of United States’ National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) – the systematic control of the nanoscale in order to obtain new properties and functions." – Mihail C. Roco

"We are creating infrastructure: NCSU has established a strength in the area of nanostructured materials, and at this moment, we can see several results that weren’t initially planned." – Mihail C. Roco

"The expansion of infrastructure for nanoscale research has created a huge base of scientific discovery and potential technological development. A similar trend can be seen in education. From 5 universities with graduate programs in 1999, we now have about 270 academic institutions with undergraduate and graduate programs related to nanoscale science and engineering." – Mihail C. Roco

Josh Chamot | NSF News
Further information:
http://www.nsf.gov
http://www.mse.ncsu.edu/CAMSS/nano
http://www.engr.ncsu.edu/news/news_articles/narayan.html

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht Intelligent wheelchairs, predictive prostheses
20.12.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung IPA

nachricht Jelly with memory – predicting the leveling of com-mercial paints
15.12.2017 | 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: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stiffness matters

22.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Magnetic field traces gas and dust swirling around supermassive black hole

22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals

22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>