Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

One Nano-step Closer To Weighing A Single Atom

Date:
August 14, 2009
Source:
University of Melbourne
Summary:
By studying gold nanoparticles with highly uniform sizes and shapes, scientists now understand how they lose energy, a key step towards producing nanoscale detectors for weighing any single atom.

Composite image showing TEM images and schematic of bipyramid-shaped particles and time response of vibration.
Credit: Dr Matthew Pelton from the Centre for Nanoscale Materials, Argonne National Laboratory, Illinois

By studying gold nanoparticles with highly uniform sizes and shapes, scientists now understand how they lose energy, a key step towards producing nanoscale detectors for weighing any single atom.

Such ultrasensitive measurements could ultimately be used in areas such as medical research and diagnostics, enabling the detection of minuscule disease-causing agents such as viruses and prions at the single molecule level.

Researchers are interested in nanosized materials because the smaller the components of a detection device, the more sensitive it is.

In this study, the team from the University of Melbourne, Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials in Illinois and the University of Chicago synthesized and studied tiny gold rods with a width 5000 times smaller than the thickness of a human hair.

The work was recently published online in Nature Nanotechnology.

Professor John Sader from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Melbourne says that in the same way as a classroom ruler decreases its frequency of vibration when an eraser is attached, nanomechanical mass sensors work by measuring their change in vibration frequency as mass is added.

The sensitivity of such nanomechanical devices is intimately connected to how much energy they displace. So researchers needed to understand how damping (loss of energy) is transferred both to the fluid surroundings and within the nanostructures. With the lower the damping, the purer the mechanical resonance and higher the sensitivity.

It has not previously been possible to determine the rate at which vibrations in metal nanoparticle systems are damped, because of significant variations in the dimensions of the particles that have been studied – which masks the vibrations.

However, by studying a system of bipyramid-shaped gold nanoparticles with highly uniform sizes and shapes, the researchers overcame this limitation.

“Previous measurements of nanomechanical damping have primarily focused on devices where only one- or two-dimensions are nanoscale, such as long nanowires. Our measurements and calculations provide insight into how energy is dissipated in devices that are truly nanoscale in all three-dimensions,” says Professor Sader.

Illuminating these bipyramidal nanoparticle systems with an ultra-fast laser pulse, set them vibrating mechanically at microwave frequencies. These vibrations were long-lived and for the first time damping in these nanoparticle systems could be interrogated and characterized.

Moreover, the researchers separated out the portion of damping that is due to the material itself and that surrounding liquid for which they developed a parameter-free theoretical model that quantitatively explains this fluid damping.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Pelton et al. Damping of acoustic vibrations in gold nanoparticles. Nature Nanotechnology, 2009; DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2009.192

Cite This Page:

University of Melbourne. "One Nano-step Closer To Weighing A Single Atom." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090727102135.htm>.
University of Melbourne. (2009, August 14). One Nano-step Closer To Weighing A Single Atom. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090727102135.htm
University of Melbourne. "One Nano-step Closer To Weighing A Single Atom." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090727102135.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) Qantas and Virgin say passengers can use their smartphones and tablets throughout flights after a regulator relaxed a ban on electronic devices during take-off and landing. As Hayley Platt reports the move comes as the two domestic rivals are expected to post annual net losses later this week. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 26, 2014) Huge waves generated by Hurricane Marie hit the Southern California coast. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chinese Researchers Might Be Creating Supersonic Submarine

Chinese Researchers Might Be Creating Supersonic Submarine

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) Chinese researchers have expanded on Cold War-era tech and are closer to building a submarine that could reach the speed of sound. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakingviews: India Coal Strained by Supreme Court Ruling

Breakingviews: India Coal Strained by Supreme Court Ruling

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) An acute coal shortage is likely to be aggravated as India's supreme court declared government coal allocations illegal, says Breakingviews' Peter Thal Larsen. Video provided by Reuters
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