Nano Building Made Easy

Researchers at IBM and Columbia University are developing a growing number of structures formed through self-assembly of varying types of uniform nanocrystals.  Nanocrystals with light-emitting properties would be combined in a 'superlattice' with those having magnetic properties to form materials that could efficiently convert between different forms of energy.  The article includes a link to pictures of 12 self-assembled structures.

Self-assembly is widely used in nature to create structures and substances with novel properties.  The article No Assembly Required for These Tiny Machines (originally published in the Boston Globe on Oct. 16/2001) talks about the self-assembly principles behind DNA, and describes how the abalone creates a shell that is both hard and tough from calcium carbonate that self-assembles from sea water.  Additional information is available in the article Molecules, Motors and Monorails: Learning from Nanoscience (NASA).

Your rating: None