Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Amplifying our vision of the infinitely small

Date:
December 2, 2013
Source:
Universite de Montreal
Summary:
Scientists have discovered a method to improve detection of the infinitely small.

Richard Martel and his research team at the Department of Chemistry of the Université de Montréal have discovered a method to improve detection of the infinitely small.
Credit: Montreal University

Richard Martel and his research team at the Department of Chemistry of the Université de Montréal have discovered a method to improve detection of the infinitely small. Their discovery is presented in the November 24 online edition of the journal Nature Photonics.

Related Articles


"Raman scattering provides information on the ways molecules vibrate, which is equivalent to taking their fingerprint. It's a bit like a bar code," said the professor. "Raman signals are specific for each molecule and thus useful in identifying these molecules."

Applications of the discovery: retail, banks, hospitals, etc.

The discovery by Martel's team is that Raman scattering of dye-nanotube particles is so large that a single particle of this type can be located and identified. All one needs is an optical scanner capable of detecting this particle, much like a fingerprint.

"By incorporating these nanoparticles in an object, you can make it perfectly traceable," he said. Due to their unique structure, carbon nanotubes, which are electrically conductive, can be used as containers for various molecules. Coupled with a dye, these nanoprobes can increase the complexity and strength of the received signal.

Nanoprobes, which are composed of around one hundred dye molecules aligned inside a cylinder, are 50,000 times smaller than a human hair. They are about one nanometre (nm) in diameter and 500 nm long, yet they send a Raman signal one million times stronger than the other molecules in the surrounding.

According to Professor Martel, the applications from this discovery are numerous. In medicine, nanoprobes could lead to improved diagnostics and better treatment by adhering to the surface of diseased cells. These specifically modified nanoprobes could, in effect, be grafted to bacteria or even proteins, allowing them to be easily identified. One could also imagine custom officers scanning our passports with Raman multispectral mode (i.e., involving several signals). Nanoprobes could also be used in banknote ink, making counterfeiting virtually impossible.

The beauty of it, said Martel, is that the phenomenon is generalized, and many types of dyes can be used to make nanoprobes or tags, whose "bar codes" are all different. "So far, more than 10 different tags have been made, and it seems the sky's the limit," he said. "We could, in theory, create as many of these tags as there are bacteria and use this principle to identify them with a microscope operating in Raman mode."

The story of Raman signals

Raman scattering mode is an optical phenomenon discovered in 1928 by the physicist Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman. The effect involves the inelastic scattering of photons, i.e. the physical phenomenon by which a medium can modify the frequency of the light impinging on it. The difference corresponds to an exchange of energy (wavelength) between the light beam and the medium. In this way, scattered light does not have the same wavelength as incidental light. The technique has become widely used since the advent of the laser in the industry and for research .

But until now, molecular Raman signals have been too weak to serve the needs of optical imaging effectively. So researchers have used other more sensitive techniques but which are less specific because they have no "bar code." "It is technically possible, however, to enhance the Raman signals of molecules using rough metallic surfaces," said Martel. "But their sizes limit the applications of Raman spectroscopy and imaging."

By aligning dye molecules encapsulated in carbon nanotubes, the researchers were able to amplify the Raman signals of these molecules, which until now have not been strong enough to detect. The article presents experimental evidence of extraordinary scattering of visible light on a nanoparticle.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universite de Montreal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. E. Gaufrès, N. Y.-Wa Tang, F. Lapointe, J. Cabana, M.-A. Nadon, N. Cottenye, F. Raymond, T. Szkopek, R. Martel. Giant Raman scattering from J-aggregated dyes inside carbon nanotubes for multispectral imaging. Nature Photonics, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2013.309

Cite This Page:

Universite de Montreal. "Amplifying our vision of the infinitely small." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131202121057.htm>.
Universite de Montreal. (2013, December 2). Amplifying our vision of the infinitely small. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131202121057.htm
Universite de Montreal. "Amplifying our vision of the infinitely small." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131202121057.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NTSB: Missing Planes' Black Boxes Should Transmit Wirelessly

NTSB: Missing Planes' Black Boxes Should Transmit Wirelessly

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) — In light of high-profile plane disappearances in the past year, the NTSB has called for changes to make finding missing aircraft easier. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iconic Metal Toy Meccano Goes Robotic

Iconic Metal Toy Meccano Goes Robotic

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 22, 2015) — Classic children&apos;s toy Meccano has gone digital, releasing a programmable kit robot that can be controlled by voice recognition. The toymakers say Meccanoid G15 KS is easy to use and is compatible with existing Meccano pieces. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The VueXL From VX1 Immersive Smartphone Headset!

The VueXL From VX1 Immersive Smartphone Headset!

Rumble (Jan. 22, 2015) — The VueXL from VX1 is a product that you install your smartphone in and with the magic of magnification lenses, enlarges your smartphones screen so that it&apos;s like looking at a big screen TV. Check it out! Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Analysis: NTSB Wants Better Black Boxes

Analysis: NTSB Wants Better Black Boxes

AP (Jan. 22, 2015) — NTSB investigators recommended Thursday that long-distance passenger planes carry improved technology to allow them to be found more easily in a crash, as well as include enhanced cockpit recording technology. (Jan. 22) 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