Social Media Sidebar


Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

When seen through the lens of technology, few resources are truly scarce; they’re mainly inaccessible. 


Peter Diamandis

Creating self assembling nanomaterials in space

Posted in Science on 21st Sep, 2012 06:39 PM by AlexMuller

Imagine a computer chip that can assemble itself.


Engineers and scientists are closer to making this and other scalable forms of nanotechnology a reality as a result of new milestones in using nanoparticles as self-assembling building blocks in functional materials, says professor Eric M. Furst at the University of Delaware,


Furst and his postdoctoral researchers, James Swan and Paula Vasquez, along with colleagues at NASA, the European Space Agency, Zin Technologies and Lehigh University, reported the finding Sept. 17 in an open access article in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science (PNAS) online edition.


The research team studied paramagnetic colloids while periodically applying an external magnetic field at different intervals. With just the right frequency and field strength, the team was able to watch the particles transition from a random, solid like material into highly organized crystalline structures or lattices.


Self-assembling nanopartcles on the International Space Station


According to Furst, a professor in UD’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, no one before has ever witnessed this guided “phase separation” of particles. “This development is exciting because it provides insight into how researchers can build organized structures, crystals of particles, using directing fields and it may prompt new discoveries into how we can get materials to organize themselves,” Furst said.


Because gravity plays a role in how the particles assemble or disassemble, the research team studied the suspensions aboard the International Space Station (ISS) through collaborative efforts with NASA scientists and astronauts. One interesting observation, Furst reported, was how the structure formed by the particles slowly coarsened, then rapidly grew and separated — similar to the way oil and water separate when combined — before realigning into a crystalline structure.


Already, Furst’s lab has created novel nanomaterials for use in optical communications materials and thermal barrier coatings. This new detail, along with other recorded data about the process, will now enable scientists to discover other paths to manipulate and create new nanomaterials from nanoparticle building blocks.


“Now, when we have a particle that responds to an electric field, we can use these principles to guide that assembly into structures with useful properties, such as in photonics,” Furst added.


Read original article » Back to category


Author: Guest
Posted: 2012-10-08
Great stuff, you hpeled me out so much! Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2012-10-19
5oxqZF Thanks-a-mundo for the blog.Really looking forward to read more. Will read on... Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2012-11-03
rQH6FO Really informative article.Really thank you! Reply


Recent headlines

  • Posted in Software on 2018-03-16 11:03:28
    60.3% of harmful Android apps in 2017 detected more
    Posted in Hardware on 2018-03-16 11:00:28
    Big harpoon is 'solution to space junk' more
    Posted in Science on 2018-03-16 10:58:40
    Russia will beat NASA to mars and find water on the moon, more
    Posted in Business on 2018-03-14 07:02:30
    X Prize announces $10 million competition to more
    Posted in Business on 2018-03-14 06:57:20
    How to spot a cryptocurrency more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Martian landscapes formed from sand 'levitating' on a more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Scientists detect comets outside our solar more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Advanced artificial limbs mapped in the more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Bacteria have a sense of more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Recurrent brain cancer: New hope with phase 1 clinical more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Remember me

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Verify password:
Remember me