Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New way forward for nanocomposite nanostructures

Date:
March 8, 2010
Source:
Naval Research Laboratory
Summary:
Scientists recently reported a new technique for directly writing composites of nanoparticles and polymers. Recent years have seen significant advances in the properties achieved by both these materials, and so researchers have begun to blend these materials into nanocomposites that access the properties of both materials.

The heated probe of an atomic force microscope melts a nanoparticle-polymer composite enabling it to flow onto a surface. The nanocomposite can be used as-is or the nanoparticles released with an oxygen plasma.
Credit: Image courtesy of UIUC and NRL

Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory and the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign recently reported a new technique for directly writing composites of nanoparticles and polymers. Recent years have seen significant advances in the properties achieved by both these materials, and so researchers have begun to blend these materials into nanocomposites that access the properties of both materials.

Forming these nanocomposites into structures has been tricky since each nanocomposite would require a particular set of solvents or a particular surface coating. To solve this problem, the NRL and UIUC team developed a generic means for depositing many nanocomposites on multiple surfaces with nanoscale precision. Metal nanoparticles that were conducting, tiny magnetic nanoparticles, and nanoparticles that glowed, were all deposited using this one technique.

The technique builds on previous work using atomic force microscopy (AFM) probes as pens to produce nanometer-scale patterns. The polymer-nanocomposite blend is coated onto the probe. When the probe is heated, it acts like a miniature soldering iron to deposit the nanocomposite. "This technique greatly simplifies nanocomposite deposition," said Paul E. Sheehan, head of the Surface Nanoscience and Sensor Technology Section at NRL in Washington, D.C. "No longer do you have to spend half a year tweaking the chemistry of the surface or nanocomposite to achieve deposition."

The technique also solves a common problem when depositing soft materials like polymers and nanocomposites. The solvents and patterning procedures for depositing soft materials can damage any soft material already deposited. Consequently, it can be quite difficult to deposit many different such materials. "Our ability to control nanometer-scale heat sources allows local thermal processing of these nanocomposites," says William King, Kritzer Faculty Scholar in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. This opens a door to the direct writing of highly complex structures.

Although the nanoparticles were typically dispersed throughout the nanocomposite, the researchers found that by adjusting the nanoparticle chemistry they could force the nanoparticles into alignment. "With the right chemistry, the forces in the polymer will guide the nanoparticles into thin rows." Rows of nanoparticles less than 10 nm wide were written, narrower than any other direct write technique. The string of magnetic nanoparticles should be useful for studying magnetic interactions on the smallest scales. "Combining with our nanolithographic technique these tiny magnetic nanostructures can be added to current electronic or MEMS devices to enhance their capabilities." says Woo Kyung Lee. "These capabilities and those of the other nanocomposites may find novel applications from microelectronics to biomedical devices."

The technique was published on January 13th, 2010, in the journal Nano Letters. The research was sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Naval Research Laboratory. "New way forward for nanocomposite nanostructures." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225151920.htm>.
Naval Research Laboratory. (2010, March 8). New way forward for nanocomposite nanostructures. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225151920.htm
Naval Research Laboratory. "New way forward for nanocomposite nanostructures." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225151920.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) MIT developed a robot modeled after a cheetah. It can run up to speeds of 10 mph, though researchers estimate it will eventually reach 30 mph. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) Automobile manufacturer Local Motors created a drivable electric car using a 3-D printer. Printing the body only took 44 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 15, 2014) New York officials unveil subway tunnels that were refurbished after Superstorm Sandy. Nathan Frandino reports. 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