Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Softening crystals without heat: Using terahertz pulses to manipulate molecular networks

Date:
November 12, 2010
Source:
Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences, Kyoto University
Summary:
As if borrowing from a scene in a science fiction movie, researchers in Japan have successfully developed a kind of tractor beam that can be used to manipulate the network of the molecules. In a new paper, the team has demonstrated a technique using terahertz pulses that could have broad applications in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

As if borrowing from a scene in a science fiction movie, researchers at Kyoto University have successfully developed a kind of tractor beam that can be used to manipulate the network of the molecules. In a paper soon to be published in Physical Review Letters, the team has demonstrated a technique using terahertz pulses that could have broad applications in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

Related Articles


Terahertz waves, an area of specialty for the Koichiro Tanaka lab at Kyoto University's Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS), exist in a frequency range beyond the infrared and before the microwave band. Also popularly referred to as T-rays, this form of radiation can pass through many materials but is non-ionizing, characteristics which make the waves useful in the imaging field.

In this case, intense terahertz pulses were used to successfully increase the amplitude of movement between amino-acid molecules in crystalline form, essentially softening the crystals. Previous softening methods have always correspondingly raised the temperature, resulting in unwanted changes to the crystals' structure and properties.

"What we have demonstrated is that it is possible to use intense terahertz pulses to climb 20 ladder steps on the anharmonic intermolecular potential in the microcrystals," explains Dr. Masaya Nagai, an assistant professor at Kyoto University's Department of Physics and a coauthor of the paper. "This opens the door," he continues, "to the possibility of manipulating large molecules, thereby increasing understanding of the properties of molecular complexes such as proteins."

The team is expectant that the technique they have developed could eventually lead to advances in chemical synthesis as well as in the refining of organic molecular crystals for pharmaceutical purposes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences, Kyoto University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mukesh Jewariya, Masaya Nagai, and Koichiro Tanaka. Ladder climbing on the anharmonic intermolecular potential in an amino acid microcrystal via an intense monocycle terahertz pulse. Physical Review Letters, 2010; (forthcoming)

Cite This Page:

Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences, Kyoto University. "Softening crystals without heat: Using terahertz pulses to manipulate molecular networks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101109095324.htm>.
Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences, Kyoto University. (2010, November 12). Softening crystals without heat: Using terahertz pulses to manipulate molecular networks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101109095324.htm
Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences, Kyoto University. "Softening crystals without heat: Using terahertz pulses to manipulate molecular networks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101109095324.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) Brave Robotics and Asratec teamed with original Transformers toy company Tomy to create a functional 5-foot-tall humanoid robot that can march and fold itself into a 3-foot-long sports car. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
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