Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Carbon nanotube jungles created to better detect molecules

Date:
November 6, 2013
Source:
DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Summary:
Researchers have developed a new method of using nanotubes to detect molecules at extremely low concentrations enabling trace detection of biological threats, explosives and drugs.

The top view of the jungle canopy (hafnium thickness of 2.5 nanometers and gold thickness of 20 nanometers).
Credit: Image courtesy of DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich have developed a new method of using nanotubes to detect molecules at extremely low concentrations enabling trace detection of biological threats, explosives and drugs.

Related Articles


The joint research team, led by LLNL Engineer Tiziana Bond and ETH Scientist Hyung Gyu Park, are using spaghetti-like, gold-hafnium-coated carbon nanotubes (CNT) to amplify the detection capabilities in surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS).

SERS is a surface-sensitive technique that enhances the inelastic scattering of photons by molecules adsorbed on rough metal surfaces or by nanostructures.

Bond and her collaborators are using metal-coated nanotubes bunched together like a jungle canopy to amplify the signals of both the incident and Raman scattered light by exciting local electron plasmons.

Their real breakthrough, however, is discovering the use of an intermediate dielectric coating (hafnium) to block the quenching of the free electrons in the metal by the CNTs, allowing the nanotubes to function uninhibited. By preserving the electrons and enhancing the light through the use of nanotube jungles, the team is able to significantly increase the SERS' detection sensitivities in CNTs structures.

The hafnium coating enables the bunching of gold nanotubes that creates a thick canopy full of sensitive spots for detection. The nanotubes enable incident light to be trapped and focused at the numerous contact points and crevices, allowing the Raman-scattered light to pass through. This enables portable Raman devices to detect and identify specific airborne substances randomly.

"This is a very important discovery in our efforts to improve the use of SERS devices," Bond said. "We gained this valuable knowledge through multidisciplinary basic research and approaching the problem with a rational design."

Bond and Park hope their engineered material will eventually be used in portable devices to conduct on-site analysis of chemical impurities such as environmental pollutants or pharmaceutical residues in water. Other applications include the real-time point-of-care monitoring of physiological levels for the biomedical industry and fast screening of drugs and toxins for law enforcement.

"We are in the process of filing a patent for our new discovery," Bond said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ali Ozhan Altun, Seul Ki Youn, Nuri Yazdani, Tiziana Bond, Hyung Gyu Park. Metal-Dielectric-CNT Nanowires for Femtomolar Chemical Detection by Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy. Advanced Materials, 2013; 25 (32): 4431 DOI: 10.1002/adma.201300571

Cite This Page:

DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. "Carbon nanotube jungles created to better detect molecules." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131106132027.htm>.
DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. (2013, November 6). Carbon nanotube jungles created to better detect molecules. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131106132027.htm
DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. "Carbon nanotube jungles created to better detect molecules." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131106132027.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Inspectors Found Faulty Work Before NYC Blast

Inspectors Found Faulty Work Before NYC Blast

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) An hour before an apparent gas explosion sent flames soaring and debris flying at a Manhattan apartment building, injuring 19 people, utility company inspectors decided the work being done there was faulty. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook Building Plane-Sized Drones For Global Internet

Facebook Building Plane-Sized Drones For Global Internet

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) Facebook on Thursday revealed more details about its Internet-connected drone project. The drone is bigger than a 737, but lighter than a car. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 27, 2015) The companion robot "Kirobo" returns to earth from the International Space Station and sets two Guinness World Records. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Witness Building Explosion, Collapse

Residents Witness Building Explosion, Collapse

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) Witnesses recount the sites and sounds of a massive explosion and subsequent building collapse in the heart of Manhattan&apos;s trendy East Village on Thursday. (March 26) 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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