Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers develop a solid material with mobile particles that react to the environment

10.09.2018

Inside most materials, little is moving. But a new “active nanocomposite” is teeming with motion: small particles connect or separate, thus changing the color of the entire material. It was made by scientists of the Leibniz Institute for New Materials in Saarbrücken in an attempt to lend materials more dynamics. The transparent material can “answer” temperature changes or, in the future, the presence of chemical substances and toxins with a color change. The researchers want to create packaging films that change their color when food spoils, for example.

The results were recently published in the renowned scientific journal Advanced Materials.

How does one get solid particles to move inside a solid material? „You rarely want this to happen in steel, concrete, or plastics, because free motion usually implies a weak spot in the material. In our active nanocomposites, particles are decoupled from the main material inside small compartments, while the rest remains stable,” says Tobias Kraus, Head of the Structure Formation Group at INM.


At high temperatures (left) particles move freely in the droplets and lend the material a ruby red color; they agglomerate at lower temperatures (right) and change the material’s color to grey-violet

Copyright: INM; free within this press release

The research team used a trick: like raisins in a pudding, they distributed small liquid droplets in a polymer. The droplets contained gold nanoparticles that move freely inside each droplet, something they could not do in the solid:

“The particles are now free to either agglomerate or freely move in the entire droplet. The nanocomposite’s color depends on how far the nanoparticles are from each other, it changes from ruby red to grey-violet in our example. The particles can separate again, and the color change is fully reversible,” explains Professor Kraus.

The naked eye can discern neither the droplets nor the nanoparticles inside. The entire composite is translucent; it simply changes its color depending on temperature. “The result is relevant for applications that require transparent materials. We envision coating it onto clear films, for example,” says the material scientist Kraus.

In the current publication, the particles agglomerate depending on temperature. In the future, the scientists want the nanocomposite to react to chemical stimuli. „One may use this to directly visualize high Vitamin C concentrations or toxins, for example,” ponders Kraus.

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Your expert at INM:
Prof. Dr. Tobias Kraus
Head Structure Formation
Phone: +49681-9300-389
tobias.kraus@leibniz-inm.de

Originalpublikation:

David Doblas Jiménez, Jonas Hubertus, Thomas Kister, Tobias Kraus, „A translucent nanocomposite with liquid inclusions of a responsive nanoparticle dispersion“; Advanced Materials, https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.201803159

Dr. Carola Jung | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: Advanced Materials INM Vitamin C droplet gold nanoparticles nanoparticle

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Scientists create a nanomaterial that is both twisted and untwisted at the same time
16.09.2019 | University of Bath

nachricht New metamaterial morphs into new shapes, taking on new properties
12.09.2019 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Tomorrow´s coolants of choice

Scientists assess the potential of magnetic-cooling materials

Later during this century, around 2060, a paradigm shift in global energy consumption is expected: we will spend more energy for cooling than for heating....

Im Focus: The working of a molecular string phone

Researchers from the Department of Atomically Resolved Dynamics of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg, the University of Potsdam (both in Germany) and the University of Toronto (Canada) have pieced together a detailed time-lapse movie revealing all the major steps during the catalytic cycle of an enzyme. Surprisingly, the communication between the protein units is accomplished via a water-network akin to a string telephone. This communication is aligned with a ‘breathing’ motion, that is the expansion and contraction of the protein.

This time-lapse sequence of structures reveals dynamic motions as a fundamental element in the molecular foundations of biology.

Im Focus: Milestones on the Way to the Nuclear Clock

Two research teams have succeeded simultaneously in measuring the long-sought Thorium nuclear transition, which enables extremely precise nuclear clocks. TU Wien (Vienna) is part of both teams.

If you want to build the most accurate clock in the world, you need something that "ticks" very fast and extremely precise. In an atomic clock, electrons are...

Im Focus: Graphene sets the stage for the next generation of THz astronomy detectors

Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology have demonstrated a detector made from graphene that could revolutionize the sensors used in next-generation space telescopes. The findings were recently published in the scientific journal Nature Astronomy.

Beyond superconductors, there are few materials that can fulfill the requirements needed for making ultra-sensitive and fast terahertz (THz) detectors for...

Im Focus: Physicists from Stuttgart prove the existence of a supersolid state of matte

A supersolid is a state of matter that can be described in simplified terms as being solid and liquid at the same time. In recent years, extensive efforts have been devoted to the detection of this exotic quantum matter. A research team led by Tilman Pfau and Tim Langen at the 5th Institute of Physics of the University of Stuttgart has succeeded in proving experimentally that the long-sought supersolid state of matter exists. The researchers report their results in Nature magazine.

In our everyday lives, we are familiar with matter existing in three different states: solid, liquid, or gas. However, if matter is cooled down to extremely...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Society 5.0: putting humans at the heart of digitalisation

10.09.2019 | Event News

Interspeech 2019 conference: Alexa and Siri in Graz

04.09.2019 | Event News

AI for Laser Technology Conference: optimizing the use of lasers with artificial intelligence

29.08.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Too much of a good thing: overactive immune cells trigger inflammation

16.09.2019 | Life Sciences

Scientists create a nanomaterial that is both twisted and untwisted at the same time

16.09.2019 | Materials Sciences

Researchers have identified areas of the retina that change in mild Alzheimer's disease

16.09.2019 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>