Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

$2.5 Million Initiative To Develop Chameleon-Like Nanoshells

Date:
April 19, 1999
Source:
Rice University
Summary:
Developed by Rice University engineers, metal nanoshells lend a chameleon-like effect to materials and devices, due to their ability to manipulate different types of light. A new $2.5 million initiative, funded by the Department of Defense, will allow a group of researchers to study and develop the technology.

HOUSTON, April 14, 1999 -- Developed by Rice University engineers, metal nanoshells lend a chameleon-like effect to materials and devices, due to their ability to manipulate different types of light. A new $2.5 million initiative, funded by the Department of Defense, will allow a group of researchers to study and develop the technology.

The Defense Department has chosen to fund a new five-year Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) headed by Rice University, and including Oklahoma State University and the University of Houston, to study and develop the nanoshells, their optical and electromagnetic responses and properties, and commercial applications.

A number of industries could potentially benefit from the development of this technology, including electronics, energy conservation, construction materials, biomedicine and cosmetics.

"The wonderful thing about metal nanoshells is that we can tailor them to have specific optical properties at different wavelengths of light," said Naomi Halas, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Rice and principal investigator of the project. "The particles themselves have these properties, an overwhelming advantage over other optical structures, which require multilayer films or nanoparticle arrays to give rise to similar effects. Nanoshells can be easily and directly incorporated into coatings and responsive devices."

Metal nanoshells are tiny particles, ranging from about 50-1,000 nanometers in diameter, with an insulating core, such as silica, coated by a thin shell of conductive metal--resembling nano-sized malted milk balls.

Metal nanoshells can absorb light or scatter light, both in the visible and infrared regions of the spectrum. Varying the thicknesses of the shell and the core changes the way in which light is manipulated. Variations in thickness and particle composition extend the controlled electromagnetic wave response from visible light into the far-infrared and submillimeter-wave spectral regions.

Nanoshells can be chemically attached to a wide variety of materials, including plastics, liquids, aerosols, epoxies, glasses and even fibers. New products could include energy-efficient smart windows, powerful solar collection and solar cells, coatings for cars, airplanes or buildings, biomedical sensors, and optical switches, steering light to different points in futuristic computer architecture.

When incorporated into device structures, nanoshells are capable of responding to an applied electric current and producing a voltage-dependent optical response. For instance, by changing the voltage to a visual display panel built with nanoshell technology, the panel could change colors or transparency.

Led by Halas, the research team is working to design and create the metal nanoshells, and to fully understand their properties and abilities. They will develop arrays, coatings, films and ultrathin films. The researchers are also studying different types and combinations of materials to improve upon current inorganic nanoshells and to develop completely organic nanoshells.

Jennifer West, Rice assistant professor of bioengineering, is working to develop nanoshell-based all-optical biosensors and biotests. Because near-infrared light can pass harmlessly through the human body, an implantable sensor that uses light to monitor chemicals could be used to instantly monitor a range of different chemicals in the body. In addition, such nanoshell biotesting devices could be used to check proteins in whole blood, providing a big advantage over current methods, which are difficult and time consuming. Customized nanoshell monitors could allow doctors to look at small amounts of antigens or antibodies and determine rapidly the health of a patient.

Peter Nordlander, Rice professor of physics, is a theoretical physicist and is studying the electrical transport properties of nanoshells and how they behave in a variety of environments.

Alex Rimberg, Rice assistant professor of physics, is studying the way electrons flow around the nanoshells and how the internal structure affects its electrical transport properties.

Dan Grischkowsky and Alan Cheville, professors in electrical engineering at the University of Oklahoma, are experts in making measurements in the terahertz region--the range between infrared light and microwaves--and at using the unique spectroscopy for probing chemical content of materials. They characterize the particles that are made and provide insight into how to design strongly absorbing particles in this region of the spectrum.

As part of the synthetic effort, Randy Lee, a professor of organic chemistry at the University of Houston, is using synthetic techniques to grow organic nanoshells, and exploring new methods for the uniform growth of nanoshell structures.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rice University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rice University. "$2.5 Million Initiative To Develop Chameleon-Like Nanoshells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 April 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990419095117.htm>.
Rice University. (1999, April 19). $2.5 Million Initiative To Develop Chameleon-Like Nanoshells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990419095117.htm
Rice University. "$2.5 Million Initiative To Develop Chameleon-Like Nanoshells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990419095117.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Newsy (July 18, 2014) The wreckage of the German submarine U-166 has become clearly visible for the first time since it was discovered in 2001. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Reuters - US Online Video (July 17, 2014) President Barak Obama stopped by at a lunch counter in Delaware before making remarks about boosting the nation's infrastructure. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

TheStreet (July 16, 2014) Oil Futures are bouncing back after tumbling below $100 a barrel for the first time since May yesterday. Jeff Grossman is the president of BRG Brokerage and trades at the NYMEX. Grossman tells TheStreet the Middle East is always a concern for oil traders. Oil prices were pushed down in recent weeks on Libya increasing its production. Supply disruptions in Iraq fading also contributed to prices falling. News from China's economic front showing a growth for the second quarter also calmed fears on its slowdown. Jeff Grossman talks to TheStreet's Susannah Lee on this and more on the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins