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Archive for the 'Research' Category

Reviews of DNA nanotechnology-atomically precise microscale objects

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 9th, 2013

Two open access reviews portray the widening approach of DNA nanotechnology toward more complex atomically precise systems.

DNA nanotechnology builds solar energy antenna

Posted by Jim Lewis on June 21st, 2013

A simple DNA scaffold organizes light-collecting molecules for artificial photosynthesis.

Mass production of higher quality oligonucleotides to spur DNA nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on June 6th, 2013

Biotechnology-based isolation and amplification of sequence-verified clones of DNA oligonucleotides will provide longer and less expensive materials for building complex DNA nanostructures and nanomachinery.

Quantum dot conduction impacted by stoichiometry, not dangling bonds

Posted by Stephanie C on May 29th, 2013

Quantum dots are semiconducting, nanoscale clusters that show electronic characteristics distinct from both bulk-scale materials and single molecules. Their special characteristics make quantum dots attractive for a broad range of potential applications, including photovoltaics and nanoscale transistors. The size and shape of quantum dots impact electrical properties and can therefore be used to tune the [...]

Germanane: germanium's answer to graphane

Posted by Stephanie C on May 15th, 2013

Soon after graphene sheets were being produced on a laboratory scale routinely, researchers began producing the hydrogenated version graphane (with a hydrogen atom on each carbon). This step is one of many approaches aimed at harnessing graphene’s powerful conductivity and is also being explored for hydrogen storage and other potential applications (more info in this [...]

Silicene: silicon's answer to graphene

Posted by Stephanie C on May 1st, 2013

On the list of potential post-silicon materials for electronics and chips is none other than silicon. More specifically, silicene — 2D sheets of hexagonally arranged silicon atoms, structurally analogous to graphene and experimentally characterized by physicist Guy Le Lay of Aix-Marseille University in France (2012 abstract here). While graphene possesses exceptional performance qualities, it can’t [...]

Superparamagnetism-explicated-for us

Posted by Stephanie C on April 17th, 2013

Even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious, superparamagnetism may become a familiar term in the context of nanoscale electronics and devices. Loosely speaking, superparamagnetism is a size-based phenomenon in which materials that are ferromagnetic on the macroscale — meaning predisposed toward strong magnetization at room temperature, such as iron and nickel — [...]

Atomically precise placement of dangling bonds on silicon surface

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 5th, 2013

Nanotechnology researchers in London have used a scanning tunneling microscope to create atomically precise quantum states from dangling bonds on a silicon surface.

RNA-protein motor for unidirectional movement of DNA in nanomachinery

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 1st, 2013

Revolution of DNA around a central channel, rather than rotation, is the method used by a viral molecular motor to package DNA. A structure facilitating bottom-up assembly may lead to roles in nanotechnology for these nanomotors.

Re-engineering a junction to give a new twist to DNA nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 29th, 2013

By forcing the geometry of the junctions upon which DNA nanotechnology depends, researchers have increased the collection of 2D and 3D structures that they can build to include wire frames and mesh structures.

New advancement in 3D imaging of nanoparticles at atomic resolution

Posted by Stephanie C on March 28th, 2013

Researchers from UCLA’s California NanoSystems Institute and Northwestern University have combined multiple imaging techniques to produce high quality 3D images of platinum nanoparticles, allowing advanced visualization of atomic-scale structural defects (an important advancement over X-ray crystallography). The original 2012 work, published in Nature and posted by Jim Lewis here, used electron tomography to study 10-nm [...]

Computationally designed peptide sneaks nanoparticles past immune system

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 15th, 2013

Nanoparticles decorated to avoid immune system recognition were tested in mice and shown to survive longer and deliver more imaging dye and drug to tumor cells.

Studying environmental impacts of nanoparticles using mesocosms

Posted by Stephanie C on February 28th, 2013

The advent of new technologies is typically followed by new government regulation, and in the absence of data, fear-based reactionism can have far too much influence on policy. Quality research studies on real risks and impacts of nanoscale technologies can help lead to legitimate scientific consensus and appropriate regulation. Engineered nanoparticles draw particular attention, because [...]

Nanotechnology delivers potent anti-cancer agent where it needs to go

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 22nd, 2013

Core-shell nanocapsules deliver a potent protein complex to the nucleus of cancer cells where it induces them to commit suicide, while the complex degrades harmlessly in the cytoplasm of normal cells.

Toward molecular fabrication: formation of distinct bond types by STM

Posted by Stephanie C on February 8th, 2013

Scanning probe manipulation of individual atoms and small molecules were amongst the early laboratory successes that helped bring broad scale attention to the feasibility and potential of nanoscale technologies, especially molecular fabrication. Basic manipulations of atoms and bonds by scanning probe have become familiar capabilities that follow similar protocols: the STM tip is precisely positioned [...]

Synthetic biology industrial revolution inspires hope for molecular manufacturing

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 2nd, 2013

A demonstration that most fundamental biological processes can be implemented in a test tube as efficiently as in live bacteria provides synthetic biology the tools to create a ‘new industrial revolution’, which may or may not lead to more general molecular manufacturing.

Artificial molecular machine synthesizes a small peptide

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 28th, 2013

A small molecular machine based on a rotaxane molecule autonomously added three amino acids in a programmed order to a seed tripeptide to form a hexapeptide

Controlled stepwise rotation on a single atom bearing

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 21st, 2013

Electrons from a scanning tunneling microscope tip turn a five-arm rotor connected via a single ruthenium atom bearing to a tripod anchoring the molecular motor to a gold surface.

Nanometer-scale optical positioning and focusing

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 16th, 2013

A theoretical proposal for optical tweezers and an experimental optical focusing device both depend upon electromagnetic waves trapped and guided along metal-insulator interfaces. Will these advances provide tools for manipulating molecular building blocks?

Testing and improving scaffolded DNA origami for molecular nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 19th, 2012

In two different sets of experiments a German research group has shown that scaffolded DNA origami can be used to assemble complex structures with precise sub-nanometer positional control, and that constant temperature reaction can greatly increase yields and decrease production times.