Brookhaven Lab scientists discover a way to create billionth-of-a-meter structures that snap together in complex patterns with unprecedented efficiency
To continue advancing, next-generation electronic devices must fully exploit the nanoscale, where materials span just billionths of a meter. But balancing complexity, precision, and manufacturing scalability on such fantastically small scales is inevitably difficult. Fortunately, some nanomaterials can be coaxed into snapping themselves into desired formations—a process called self-assembly.
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have just developed a way to direct the self-assembly of multiple molecular patterns within a single material, producing new nanoscale architectures. The results were published in the journal Nature Communications.
“This is a significant conceptual leap in self-assembly,” said Brookhaven Lab physicist Aaron Stein, lead author on the study. “In the past, we were limited to a single emergent pattern, but this technique breaks that barrier with relative ease. This is significant for basic research, certainly, but it could also change the way we design and manufacture electronics.”
Microchips, for example, use meticulously patterned templates to produce the nanoscale structures that process and store information. Through self-assembly, however, these structures can spontaneously form without that exhaustive preliminary patterning. And now, self-assembly can generate multipledistinct patterns—greatly increasing the complexity of nanostructures that can be formed in a single step.
“This technique fits quite easily into existing microchip fabrication workflows,” said study coauthor Kevin Yager, also a Brookhaven physicist. “It’s exciting to make a fundamental discovery that could one day find its way into our computers.”
The experimental work was conducted entirely at Brookhaven Lab’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN), a DOE Office of Science User Facility, leveraging in-house expertise and instrumentation.
Cooking up organized complexity
The collaboration used block copolymers—chains of two distinct molecules linked together—because of their intrinsic ability to self-assemble.
“As powerful as self-assembly is, we suspected that guiding the process would enhance it to create truly ‘responsive’ self-assembly,” said study coauthor Greg Doerk of Brookhaven. “That’s exactly where we pushed it.”
The Latest on: Self-assembly
via Google News
The Latest on: Self-assembly
- DNA origami makes 3D superconducting nanostructureson November 25, 2020 at 3:23 am
Researchers in the US and Israel have developed a way to make 3D superconducting nanostructures by combining DNA with niobium and silicon. This new technique might be used to make signal amplifiers ...
- CAREER: Directed Self-Assembly of 2D Plasmonic Nanoparticles in Block Copolymer Nanofibers to Form Hierarchical Nanostructureson November 23, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge ...
- self-assemblyon November 18, 2020 at 4:00 pm
A self-healing membrane that acts as a reverse filter, blocking small particles and letting large ones through, is the "straight out of science fiction" work of a team of Penn State mechanical ...
- Groundbreaking Research Paves Way for Preprogrammable Self-Assembly of Nanoparticles, Endless Nanomedical Applicationson November 12, 2020 at 4:00 pm
The self assembly process begins with triblock terpolymers, chain-like macromolecules readily available to researchers, with specific chemical properties necessary for the functionality of the ...
- Making complex 3D nanosuperconductors with DNA self-assemblyon November 10, 2020 at 2:14 am
As reported in Nature Communications ("DNA-assembled superconducting 3D nanoscale architectures"), this platform is based on the self-assembly of DNA into desired 3-D shapes at the nanoscale. In DNA ...
- Making 3D nanosuperconductors with DNAon November 10, 2020 at 2:02 am
As reported in the Nov. 10 issue of Nature Communications, this platform is based on the self-assembly of DNA into desired 3-D shapes at the nanoscale. In DNA self-assembly, a single long strand ...
- Dilute nitride III-V nanowires for high-efficiency intermediate-band photovoltaic cells: Materials requirements, self-assembly methods and propertieson November 9, 2020 at 1:43 am
Abstract: This paper deals with dilute nitride III-V (III-N-V) semiconductor nanowires and their synthesis by bottom-up (so-called self-assembly) methods for application to novel and high efficiency ...
- Spider silk self-assembly via modular liquid-liquid phase separation and nanofibrillationon November 4, 2020 at 11:48 am
Acidification coupled with LLPS triggers the swift self-assembly of nanofibril networks, facilitated by dimerization of the amino-terminal domain, and leads to a liquid-to-solid phase transition.
- Trisulfide bond–mediated doxorubicin dimeric prodrug nanoassemblies with high drug loading, high self-assembly stability, and high tumor selectivityon November 4, 2020 at 11:32 am
Here, we report that simple insertion of a trisulfide bond can turn doxorubicin homodimeric prodrugs into self-assembled nanoparticles with three benefits: high drug loading (67.24%, w/w), high ...
- Spider Silk Is Stronger Than Steel. It Also Assembles Itself.on November 4, 2020 at 11:00 am
This remarkable process of self-assembly is about as strange as a garden hose spitting out a stream of perfect snowflakes. Scientists have spent years trying to mimic it in the hopes that it will ...
via Bing News