Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New microfluidic approach for the directed assembly of functional materials

Date:
October 7, 2013
Source:
University of Illinois College of Engineering
Summary:
Researchers have developed a new approach with applications in materials development for energy capture and storage and for optoelectronic materials. The research shows that peptide precursor materials can be aligned and oriented during their assembly into polypeptides using tailored flows in microfluidic devices.

An optical micrograph of the microchannel junction with red dye flow-focused in water shows experimental conditions used for nanostructure assembly.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Illinois College of Engineering

University of Illinois researchers have developed a new approach with applications in materials development for energy capture and storage and for optoelectronic materials.

According to Charles Schroeder, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, the results show that peptide precursor materials can be aligned and oriented during their assembly into polypeptides using tailored flows in microfluidic devices.

The research was a collaboration between the labs of Schroeder and William Wilson, a research professor in materials science and engineering and the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory at Illinois. Their findings were recently published in a paper entitled, "Fluidic-directed assembly of aligned oligopeptides with pi-conjugated cores" in Advanced Materials.

"A grand challenge in the field of materials science is the ability to direct the assembly of advanced materials for desired functionality," says Amanda Marciel, a graduate student in Schroeder's research group. "However, design of new materials is often hindered by our inability to control the structural complexity of synthetic polymers."

"To address the need for controlled processing of functional materials, we developed a microfluidic-based platform to drive the assembly of synthetic oligopeptides," Marciel explained. "Using a microfluidic device, we assembled DFAA and DFAG into one dimensional nanostructures using a planar extensional flow generated in a cross-slot geometry."

The dynamics of the assembly process can be followed in real-time using fluorescence microscopy and spectroscopy.

"The assembled nanostructure is spectrally distinct from the synthetic oligopeptide monomer, which can be used to monitor the dynamics of nanostructure formation," Marciel added. "Using precise hydrodynamic control of the microfluidic platform, the researchers demonstrated the formation of multiple parallel-aligned synthetic oligopeptide nanostructures and their subsequent disassembly. By modulating volumetric flow rates in the device they were able to manipulate the position of the fluid-fluid interface at the microchannel junction.

During this process, nanostructures initially formed at the reactive laminar interface are submerged into the advancing acidic stream, thereby preserving the integrity of the preformed nanostructures while initiating formation of an aligned nanostructure at the new interface position.

Marciel says this research shows that is possible to use microfluidic-based flows to direct the structural assembly of polymers into functional materials.

"Our approach has the potential to enable reproducible and reliable fabrication of advanced materials." Marciel said. "Achieving nanoscale ordering in assembled materials has become the primary focus of recent efforts in the field. These approaches will ultimately lead to desired morphology in functional materials, which will enhance their ability to capture and store energy."

"Our research team is quite interdisciplinary and has a unique range of skills to study materials assembly," Schroeder said. "Our group has extensive experience in the design and fabrication of microfluidic devices and fluorescence imaging of soft materials." The team's ultimate goal is to assemble the organic equivalent of typical semiconducting materials.

"This would open the door to developments of materials with application to photovoltaic devices, solid-state lighting, energy harvesting, and catalytic processes," she said.

In addition to Marciel, Schroeder, and Wilson, the paper's authors included, Melikhan Tanyeri, Brian D. Wall, and John D. Tovar. The team used spectroscopic and analytical tools at the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Lab to conduct its research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois College of Engineering. The original article was written by Sarah Williams. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Amanda B. Marciel, Melikhan Tanyeri, Brian D. Wall, John D. Tovar, Charles M. Schroeder, William L. Wilson. Fluidic-Directed Assembly of Aligned Oligopeptides with π-Conjugated Cores. Advanced Materials, 2013; DOI: 10.1002/adma.201302496

Cite This Page:

University of Illinois College of Engineering. "New microfluidic approach for the directed assembly of functional materials." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131007190827.htm>.
University of Illinois College of Engineering. (2013, October 7). New microfluidic approach for the directed assembly of functional materials. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131007190827.htm
University of Illinois College of Engineering. "New microfluidic approach for the directed assembly of functional materials." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131007190827.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

TheStreet (Apr. 16, 2014) The Porsche Spyder 918 proves that, in an automotive world obsessed with fuel efficiency, the supercar is not dead. Porsche North America CEO Detlev von Platen attributes the brand's consistent sales growth -- 21% in 2013 -- with an investment in new technology and expanded performance dynamics. The hybrid Spyder 918 has 887 horsepower and 944 lb-ft of torque, but it can run 18 miles on just an electric charge. The $845,000 vehicle is not a consumer-targeted vehicle but a brand statement. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Industry's Optimism Shines At New York Auto Show

Industry's Optimism Shines At New York Auto Show

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) After seeing auto sales grow last month, there's plenty for the industry to celebrate as it rolls out its newest designs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ford Mustang Fetes Its 50th Atop Empire State Building

Ford Mustang Fetes Its 50th Atop Empire State Building

AFP (Apr. 16, 2014) Ford celebrated the 50th birthday of its beloved Mustang by displaying a new model of the convertible on top of the Empire State Building in New York. Duration: 00:28 Video provided by AFP
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