Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Accidental nanoparticle discovery could hail revolution in manufacturing

Date:
September 9, 2013
Source:
Queen Mary, University of London
Summary:
A nanoparticle shaped like a spiky ball, with magnetic properties, has been uncovered in a new method of synthesizing carbon nanotubes by physicists.

A nanoparticle shaped like a spiky ball, with magnetic properties, has been uncovered in a new method of synthesising carbon nanotubes by physicists at Queen Mary University of London and the University of Kent.

Carbon nanotubes are hollow, cylindrical molecules that can be manipulated to give them useful properties. The nanoparticles were discovered accidentally on the rough surfaces of a reactor designed to grow carbon nanotubes.

Described as sea urchins because of their characteristic spiny appearance, the particles consist of nanotubes filled with iron, with equal lengths pointing outwards in all directions from a central particle.

The presence of iron and the unusual nanoparticle shape could have potential for a number of applications, such as batteries that can be charged from waste heat, mixing with polymers to make permanent magnets, or as particles for cancer therapies that use heat to kill cancerous cells.

The researchers found that the rough surfaces of the reactor were covered in a thick powder of the new nanoparticles and that intentional roughening of the surfaces produced large quantities of the sea urchin nanoparticles.

"The surprising conclusion is that the sea urchin nanoparticles grow in vapour by a mechanism that's similar to snowflake formation. Just as moist air flowing over a mountain range produces turbulence which results in a snowfall, the rough surface disrupts a flow to produce a symmetrical and ordered nanoparticle out of chaotic conditions," said Dr Mark Baxendale from Queen Mary's School of Physics and Astronomy.

On analysis, the researchers found that a small fraction of the iron inside the carbon nanotubes was a particular type usually only found in high temperature and pressure conditions.

Dr Baxendale added: "We were surprised to see this rare kind of iron inside the nanotubes. While we don't know much about its behaviour, we can see that the presence of this small fraction of iron greatly influences the magnetic properties of the nanoparticle."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Filippo S. Boi, Gavin Mountjoy, Rory M. Wilson, Zofia Luklinska, Laura J. Sawiak, Mark Baxendale. Multiwall carbon nanotubes continuously filled with micrometre-length ferromagnetic α-Fe nanowires. Carbon, 2013; 64: 351 DOI: 10.1016/j.carbon.2013.07.085

Cite This Page:

Queen Mary, University of London. "Accidental nanoparticle discovery could hail revolution in manufacturing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130909131226.htm>.
Queen Mary, University of London. (2013, September 9). Accidental nanoparticle discovery could hail revolution in manufacturing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130909131226.htm
Queen Mary, University of London. "Accidental nanoparticle discovery could hail revolution in manufacturing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130909131226.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

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
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

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