Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Some like it hot: How to heat a 'nano bathtub'

Date:
July 31, 2010
Source:
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Summary:
Researchers have demonstrated the use of infrared laser light to quickly and precisely heat the water in "nano bathtubs" -- tiny sample containers -- for microscopy studies of the biochemistry of single molecules and nanoparticles.

Infrared laser light heats the water in "nano bathtub" for JILA research on individual DNA molecules.
Credit: K. Talbott, NIST

Researchers at JILA have demonstrated the use of infrared laser light to quickly and precisely heat the water in "nano bathtubs" -- tiny sample containers -- for microscopy studies of the biochemistry of single molecules and nanoparticles.

Related Articles


Described in a new paper, the JILA technique is faster, more controllable, and less prone to damaging expensive optics or accidentally altering chemistry than conventional methods using electric currents for bulk heating of microscope stages, optics and samples. The demonstration extends a technique used to study single living cells to the field of single-molecule microscopy. Fast, noncontact heating of very small samples is expected to enable new types of experiments with single molecules. For example, sudden, controlled jumps in temperature could be used to activate molecular processes and observe them in real time.

JILA is jointly operated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU).

The JILA "bathtubs" consist of about 35 picoliters (trillionths of a liter, or roughly one-thirtieth of a nanoliter) of water on a glass slide. Gently focused infrared laser light is used to heat a nanoscale column of water. By moving the laser beam, this column can be made to warm single RNA molecules attached to the slide. The samples are mounted above an inverted fluorescence microscope, used to study folding of tagged RNA molecules. The researchers simultaneously heated and observed folding of the molecules, comparing results obtained with the laser heating technique to measurements obtained with bulk heating.

The heating laser is directed at the samples from above, with the beam focused to a spot size of about 20 micrometers. The near-infrared light is just the right wavelength to excite vibrations in chemical bonds in the water molecules; the vibrations quickly turn into heat. The laser offers a much larger dynamic temperature range (20 to 90 degrees Celsius, or 68 to 194 degrees Fahrenheit) than bulk heating methods, according to the paper. In early trials, the technique controlled bathtub heating to an accuracy of half a degree Celsius in less than 20 milliseconds across a micrometer-scale sample area.

"Exact sizes of the laser beam and sample area don't matter," says NIST/JILA Fellow David Nesbitt, senior author of the paper. "What's important is having time and temperature control over volumes of fluid small enough to be able to look at single molecules."

The research is funded in part by the National Science Foundation, NIST, and the W.M. Keck Foundation initiative in RNA sciences.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Erik D. Holmstrom, David J. Nesbitt. Real-Time Infrared Overtone Laser Control of Temperature in Picoliter H2O Samples: 'Nanobathtubs' for Single Molecule Microscopy. The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 2010; 100707074905093 DOI: 10.1021/jz100663e

Cite This Page:

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Some like it hot: How to heat a 'nano bathtub'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100730191710.htm>.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). (2010, July 31). Some like it hot: How to heat a 'nano bathtub'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100730191710.htm
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Some like it hot: How to heat a 'nano bathtub'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100730191710.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Dancing, spinning and fighting robots are showing off their agility at "Robocomp" in Krakow. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Saharan Solar Project to Power Europe

Saharan Solar Project to Power Europe

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A solar energy project in the Tunisian Sahara aims to generate enough clean energy by 2018 to power two million European homes. Matt Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lowe's Testing Robot Sales Assistants in California Store

Lowe's Testing Robot Sales Assistants in California Store

Buzz60 (Oct. 29, 2014) Lowe’s is testing out what it’s describing as a robotic shopping assistant in one of its Orchard Supply Hardware Stores in California. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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