Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gold Nanoparticles Prove To Be Hot Stuff

Date:
September 8, 2006
Source:
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Summary:
Gold nanoparticles are highly efficient and sensitive "handles" for biological molecules being manipulated and tracked by lasers, but they also can heat up fast -- by tens of degrees in just a few nanoseconds -- which could either damage the molecules or help study them, according to scientists at JILA, a joint institute of NIST and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

A gold nanobead, trapped with 205 milliwatts of infrared laser light, heats up to about 75 degrees C or 167 degrees F (shown in dark red) and the temperature in the surrounding area gradually cools off (the purple area is about 27 degrees C or 81 degrees F).
Credit: Yeonee Seol/JILA

Gold nanoparticles are highly efficient and sensitive “handles” for biological molecules being manipulated and tracked by lasers, but they also can heat up fast—by tens of degrees in just a few nanoseconds—which could either damage the molecules or help study them, according to scientists at JILA, a joint institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and University of Colorado at Boulder.

Biophysicists often study nanoscale and even picoscale mechanics by using lasers to both apply force to and track the position of fragile biomolecules such as DNA or protein by manipulating a tiny sphere—typically polystyrene—attached to the molecule. The JILA team would like to find new microsphere materials that can be trapped by laser radiation pressure more efficiently, which would enable faster measurements and detection of smaller motions at the same laser power. As described in the Aug. 15 issue of Optics Letters,* the JILA team demonstrated that 100-nanometer-wide gold beads, as expected because of their metallic nature, can be trapped and detected six times more easily than polystyrene particles of a similar size.

However, the scientists also found that gold absorbs light and heats up quickly, by a remarkable 266 degrees (Celsius) per watt of laser power, at the wavelength most often used in optical traps. Unless very low laser power is used, the heat could damage the molecules under study. Thus, gold beads would not be useful for temperature-sensitive experiments or applying force to molecules. But the heating effect could be useful in raising local temperatures in certain experiments, such as heating a protein just enough to allow scientists to watch it unfold, the paper suggests.

The work was supported by a W.M. Keck grant in the RNA Sciences, a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences, a National Institutes of Health training grant, the National Science Foundation, and NIST.

* Y. Seol, A.E. Carpenter, T.T. Perkins. 2006. Gold nanoparticles: enhanced optical trapping and sensitivity coupled with significant heating. Optics Letters. Aug. 15.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute of Standards and Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Institute of Standards and Technology. "Gold Nanoparticles Prove To Be Hot Stuff." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060901162108.htm>.
National Institute of Standards and Technology. (2006, September 8). Gold Nanoparticles Prove To Be Hot Stuff. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060901162108.htm
National Institute of Standards and Technology. "Gold Nanoparticles Prove To Be Hot Stuff." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060901162108.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

AP (July 30, 2014) Smartphone powered paper airplane that was popular on crowdfunding website KickStarter makes its debut at Wisconsin airshow (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Driverless cars could soon become a staple on U.K. city streets, as they're set to be introduced to a few cities in 2015. Video provided by Newsy
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