Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Heartbeat of nanoparticles made visible

Date:
June 2, 2011
Source:
University of Stuttgart
Summary:
Even tiny gold nanoparticles, with a diameter of only 40 millionths of a millimeter, have something like a heartbeat. When focusing a short laser pulse on the particles they heat up very briefly and start to vibrate. But even the best microscopes can not resolve these nanoparticles, which are therefore very difficult to study.

Triangular nanoantennas focus laser light on a small gold dot in the center, which starts to oscillate and to modulate the transmitted laser beam.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Stuttgart

Even tiny gold nanoparticles, with a diameter of only 40 millionths of a millimeter, have something like a heartbeat. When focusing a short laser pulse on the particles they heat up very briefly and start to vibrate. But even the best microscopes can not resolve these nanoparticles, which are therefore very difficult to study.

Now, assistant professor Markus Lippitz from the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, together with his Ph.D. student Thorsten Schumacher have achieved a breakthrough in this area. Reporting in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers used a nanoantenna, which has already been applied successfully as a nanosensor by Prof. Harald Giessen from the 4th Physics Institute of the University of Stuttgart.

As in a mobile phone

Lippitz' goal is to investigate the mechanical properties of the smallest nanoparticles. "The surface to volume ratio would then be huge, and we would expect new nanomechanical properties," he explains. To get one step closer to this dream, he placed a small antenna near the tiny particle. This nanoantenna focuses the laser light very tightly on the nanoparticle under examination. Consequently, the light modulation due to the nanomechanical vibrations are very efficiently coupled back into the laser beam. "This is the first time that someone uses nanoantennas to investigate ultrafast nonlinear optical effects. The whole thing works like a mobile phone, in which the antenna makes that the electromagnetic waves are effectively coupled into the small electronic circuits of the phone" Lippitz explains.

Lippitz sees a huge potential for his new method: "In the future, we will be able to put the smallest nano-objects of a few nanometers in diameter in the focal point of a nanoantenna and study them using non-linear optical processes of only a few femtoseconds in duration (1 femtosecond = 1 millionth of a billionth of a second). Then we can make movies on the nanoscale, using the most extreme slow motion. Not only can we investigate nanoobjects such as semiconductor quantum dots, but also chemical and biological objects, such as molecules and viruses."

The work of Lippitz was funded by the state of Baden-Wόrttemberg within the junior professors initiative and by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Thorsten Schumacher, Kai Kratzer, David Molnar, Mario Hentschel, Harald Giessen, Markus Lippitz. Nanoantenna-enhanced ultrafast nonlinear spectroscopy of a single gold nanoparticle. Nature Communications, 2011; 2: 333 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1334

Cite This Page:

University of Stuttgart. "Heartbeat of nanoparticles made visible." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110601074854.htm>.
University of Stuttgart. (2011, June 2). Heartbeat of nanoparticles made visible. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110601074854.htm
University of Stuttgart. "Heartbeat of nanoparticles made visible." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110601074854.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) — TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) — Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) — When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) — 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) 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:
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