Navigation Links
Argonne scientists peer into heart of compound that may detect chemical, biological weapons

ARGONNE, Ill. (September 25, 2008) A light-transmitting compound that could one day be used in high-efficiency fiber optics and in sensors to detect biological and chemical weapons at long distance almost went undiscovered by scientists because its structure was too difficult to examine.

Luckily, scientists from U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and Northwestern University were able to determine the structure of the compound using the uniquely suited Chemistry and Materials beamline of the Center for Advanced Radiation Sources (ChemMatCARS) at the Advanced Photon Source.

"Like other such materials, this material has an electrically polarized structure. The incident light interacts with the electron cloud and in the process is disturbed," Argonne scientist Mercouri Kanatzidis said. "The disturbance changes the wavelength of the emitted light and creates two beams: the original and the second harmonic a beam with half the wavelength and double the frequency."

This second-harmonic beam is 15 times more intense than that produced by the best current material. This two-for-one wavelength boost is paired with greater transparency, so the material can actually transmit the whole higher-wavelength beam. This could have eventual real-world applications in identifying biological and chemical weapons at long distances and in optical communications.

However, these properties almost went undiscovered. The material, (A)ZrPSe6, where A can be potassium, rubidium or cesium, has a unique and difficult chemical structure that does not crystallize very well. It grows lengthwise, but not in other directions. This creates long, thin crystals--perfect for fiber optics but a headache to study by conventional means.

"They are not very easy to design or make," Kanatzidis said. "It doesn't like to grow in other directions."

Finally, using the ChemMatCARS at the APS, Kanatzidis and Santanu Banerjee, Christos Malliakas, Joon I Jang, and John B. Ketterson were able to determine the structure and analyze its remarkable properties. ChemMatCARS specializes in x-ray diffraction from ultra-small crystals and is operated by the Center for Advanced Radiation Sources of The University of Chicago.


Contact: Brock Cooper
DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

Related biology news :

1. NIH awards Argonne $800,000 to develop tool to measure distances within proteins
2. Integrated Fuel Technologies gets worldwide license for Argonne-developed Diesel DeNOx Catalyst
3. Argonne-University of Chicago joint venture bolsters genomic sequencing capabilities
4. Argonne-SRNL agreement supports critical DOE, national priorities
5. Argonne scientists use lasers to align molecules
6. Argonne scientists develop techniques for creating molecular movies
7. Bioinformatics technology developed at Argonne provides new insight into microbial activities
8. Research at Argonnes Advanced Photon Source reveals structure and behavior of collagen
9. New Argonne study may shed light on protein-drug interactions
10. Argonne National Lab acquires first SiCortex SC5832
11. Argonne helps China create cleaner Beijing for 2008 Olympics
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/23/2017)... N.Y. , June 23, 2017  IBM (NYSE: ... dairy research, today announced a new collaboration using next-generation ... chances that the global milk supply is impacted by ... Cornell University has become the newest academic institution to ... a food safety initiative that includes IBM Research, Mars, ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... , May 5, 2017 ... just announced a new breakthrough in biometric authentication ... exploits quantum mechanical properties to perform biometric authentication. These ... smart semiconductor material created by Ram Group and ... finance, entertainment, transportation, supply chains and security. Ram ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... 13, 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design and Manufacturing ... feature emerging and evolving technology through its 3D Printing ... run alongside the expo portion of the event and ... demonstrations focused on trending topics within 3D printing and ... manufacturing event will take place June 13-15, 2017 at the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... ... is a basic first aid supply for any work environment, but most personal eye wash ... if a dangerous substance enters both eyes? It’s one less decision, and likely quicker response ... piece. , “Whether its dirt and debris, or an acid or alkali, getting anything in ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... , ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and ... lives of over 5.5 million people each year. Especially those living in larger cities ... Treepex - based in one of the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 10, 2017 , ... For the second time in three ... Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program travelled to Washington, D.C. Tuesday, October ... US2020’s mission is to change the trajectory of STEM education in America by ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... The Pittcon ... awards honoring scientists who have made outstanding contributions to analytical chemistry ... Pittcon 2018, the world’s leading conference and exposition for laboratory science, which will ...
Breaking Biology Technology: