Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Carbon in a twirl: The science behind a self-assembled nano-carbon helix

Date:
May 16, 2013
Source:
University of Vienna
Summary:
Nanotechnology draws on the fabrication of nanostructures. Scientists have now succeeded in growing a unique carbon structure at the nanoscale that resembles a tiny twirled mustache. Their method might lead the way to the formation of more complex nano-networks.

The unique shape of the carbon nanomoustaches –one of the few inorganic examples that researchers achieved to grow and control and where they observed bilateral formation- is captured under an electron microscope.
Credit: Copyright: Shiozawa/EMP, University of Vienna

Nanotechnology draws on the fabrication of nanostructures. Scientists have now succeeded in growing a unique carbon structure at the nanoscale that resembles a tiny twirled moustache.

Their method might lead the way to the formation of more complex nano-networks. Researchers of the Electronic Properties of Materials Group at the Faculty of Physics (University of Vienna) and their international collaborators have published their results in the new open access journal of the Nature Publishing group, Scientific Reports.

Nanomaterials exhibit unique properties that can only unfold when the structures of the material are very small -- that is, at the nanoscale. In order to exploit these special properties such as, for example, specific quantum effects it is very important to produce predefined nanostructures in a controlled way and interpret the formation of their shape. Scientists try to understand how to initiate and control the growth of nanomaterials and are exploring different ways to design and build up nanostructures with fine control over shapes. In nature, many organic forms grow bilaterally, that is, symmetrically in two distinct directions. An international team of researchers from the University of Vienna (Austria), the University of Surrey (UK) and the IFW Dresden (Germany) have now achieved such a bilateral formation of inorganic nanomaterials in a controlled environment by implementing a new method.

How to grow a nanomoustache

The scientists pressurized a gas consisting of carbon and iron atoms at an elevated temperature until they observed two arms of carbon atoms spontaneously started growing out of an iron core. When the iron core was small enough, the two carbon arms started spiraling at their ends so that the whole nanostructure bore a striking resemblance with a twirled moustache. "The encouraging insights we gained from our experiments provide a very good starting point for the controlled production of extraordinary new materials with designed nanostructures," expects Dr. Hidetsugu Shiozawa, leading author of the scientific publication and researcher at the Faculty of Physics at the University of Vienna.

Useful imperfections

In order to find out more about the internal architecture of the nanomoustaches, the researchers cut their nanomaterial into extremely thin slices and used a special microscopy technique -- the transmission electron microscopy -- to have a closer look at the slices. When nanostructures grow, structural imperfections of the material emerge that are characteristic for the way the material was formed. In the observed herringbone pattern of the sliced nanomoustache, the distribution of the structural imperfections allowed the scientists to look back in time and extract further information about the formation of the nanomaterial. For future applications it will be fundamental to apply their knowledge to the growth of nanostructures in 2 or 3 dimensions in order to build regular patterns and networks at the nanoscale. Therefore, the scientists strive to understand even more about the mechanism behind the formation pattern of the nanomoustaches and are aiming at growing more dimensional and more complex nanostructures in future research projects.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Hidetsugu Shiozawa, Alicja Bachmatiuk, Andreas Stangl, David C. Cox, S. Ravi P. Silva, Mark H. Rόmmeli, Thomas Pichler. Microscopic insight into the bilateral formation of carbon spirals from a symmetric iron core. Scientific Reports, 2013; 3 DOI: 10.1038/srep01840

Cite This Page:

University of Vienna. "Carbon in a twirl: The science behind a self-assembled nano-carbon helix." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130516105513.htm>.
University of Vienna. (2013, May 16). Carbon in a twirl: The science behind a self-assembled nano-carbon helix. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130516105513.htm
University of Vienna. "Carbon in a twirl: The science behind a self-assembled nano-carbon helix." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130516105513.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) — British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) — A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

AP (July 30, 2014) — Smartphone powered paper airplane that was popular on crowdfunding website KickStarter makes its debut at Wisconsin airshow (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — Driverless cars could soon become a staple on U.K. city streets, as they're set to be introduced to a few cities in 2015. Video provided by Newsy
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