Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

World first to provide building blocks for new nano devices

Date:
November 24, 2010
Source:
University of Nottingham
Summary:
Scientists have made a major breakthrough that could help shape the future of nanotechnology, by demonstrating for the first time that 3-D molecular structures can be built on a surface.

Scientists at The University of Nottingham have made a major breakthrough that could help shape the future of nanotechnology, by demonstrating for the first time that 3-D molecular structures can be built on a surface.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Nottingham

Scientists at The University of Nottingham have made a major breakthrough that could help shape the future of nanotechnology, by demonstrating for the first time that 3-D molecular structures can be built on a surface.

The discovery could prove a significant step forward towards the development of new nano devices such as cutting-edge optical and electronic technologies and even molecular computers.

In a paper published in the journal Nature Chemistry, the team of chemists and physicists at Nottingham have shown that by introducing a 'guest' molecule they can build molecules upwards from a surface rather than just 2-D formations previously achieved.

A natural biological process known as 'self-assembly' meant that once the scientists introduced other molecules on to a surface their host then spontaneously arranged them into a rational 3-D structure.

Professor Neil Champness said: "It is the molecular equivalent of throwing a pile of bricks up into the air and then as they come down again they spontaneously build a house.

"Until now this has only been achievable in 2-D, so to continue the analogy the molecular 'bricks' would only form a path or a patio but our breakthrough now means that we can start to build in the third dimension. It's a significant step forward to nanotechnology."

Previously, scientists have employed a technique found in nature of using hydrogen bonds to hold DNA together to build two-dimensional molecular structure.

The new process involved introducing a guest molecule -- in this case a 'buckyball' or C60 -- on to a surface patterned by an array of tetracarboxylic acid molecules. The spherical shape of the buckyballs means they sit above the surface of the molecule and encourage other molecules to form around them. It offers scientists a completely new and controlled way of building up additional layers on the surface of the molecule.

The work is the culmination of four years' of research led by Professors Champness and Beton from the School of Chemistry and the School of Physics and Astronomy, which has been funded with a total of £3.5 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

The research paper is the second significant breakthrough to be reported by the team in recent weeks. In September, a paper in Nature Communications revealed they had demonstrated for the first time the way in which an irregularly shaped molecule is adsorbed on a surface. It represents a step towards being able to harness the potential of these molecules, which have extremely useful properties, by organising them to form structures. They could offer a way of building new data storage devices that are orders of magnitude smaller than their existing silicon-based counterparts.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Matthew O. Blunt, James C. Russell, Maria del Carmen Gimenez-Lopez, Nassiba Taleb, Xiang Lin, Martin Schrφder, Neil R. Champness, Peter H. Beton. Guest-induced growth of a surface-based supramolecular bilayer. Nature Chemistry, 2010; DOI: 10.1038/nchem.901

Cite This Page:

University of Nottingham. "World first to provide building blocks for new nano devices." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101123101734.htm>.
University of Nottingham. (2010, November 24). World first to provide building blocks for new nano devices. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101123101734.htm
University of Nottingham. "World first to provide building blocks for new nano devices." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101123101734.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Is It a Plane? No, It's a Hoverbike

Is It a Plane? No, It's a Hoverbike

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 22, 2014) — UK-based Malloy Aeronautics is preparing to test a manned quadcopter capable of out-manouvering a helicopter and presenting a new paradigm for aerial vehicles. A 1/3-sized scale model is already gaining popularity with drone enthusiasts around the world, with the full-sized manned model expected to take flight in the near future. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks

Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) — China's energy revolution could do more harm than good for the environment, despite the country's commitment to reducing pollution and curbing its carbon emissions. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Former TSA X-Ray Scanners Easily Tricked To Miss Weapons

Former TSA X-Ray Scanners Easily Tricked To Miss Weapons

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — Researchers found the scanners could be duped simply by placing a weapon off to the side of the body or encasing it under a plastic shield. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 20, 2014) — Forget rolling on rubber, could car drivers soon be traveling on tires made from dandelions? Teams of scientists are racing to breed a type of the yellow flower whose taproot has a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. As Joanna Partridge reports, global tire makers are investing millions in research into a new tire source. 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