Navigation Links
Super atoms turn the periodic table upside down

Researchers at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in The Netherlands have developed a technique for generating atom clusters made from silver and other metals. Surprisingly enough, these so-called super atoms (clusters of 13 silver atoms, for example) behave in the same way as individual atoms and have opened up a whole new branch of chemistry. A full account can be read in the new edition of TU Delft magazine Delft Outlook.

If a silver thread is heated to around 900 degrees Celsius, it will generate vapour made up of silver atoms. The floating atoms stick to each other in groups. Small lumps of silver comprising for example 9, 13 and 55 atoms appear to be energetically stable and are therefore present in the silver mist more frequently that one might assume. Prof. Andreas Schmidt-Ott and Dr. Christian Peineke of TU Delft managed to collect these super atoms and make them suitable for more detailed chemical experiments.


The underlying mechanism governing this stability in super atoms was described in Science by scientists from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2005. They had discovered metal super atoms, but from aluminium. Their aluminium clusters of 13, 23 and 37 atoms reacted in the same way as individual atoms because they comprised electrons that revolved around the atom cluster as a whole. These so-called outer layers were strikingly similar to the outer layers of elements from the periodic table.

The super atoms gave the periodic table a third dimension as it were, according to Schmidt-Ott: 'The chemical properties of the super atoms that have been identified up until now are very similar to those of elements in the periodic table, because their outer layers are much the same. However, we may yet discover super atoms with a different outer layer, giving us another set of completely new properties.'

Schmidt-Ott hopes to find atom clusters with new unique magnetic, optical or electrical properties, which would also be stable enough to create crystals or other solid forms. Potential applications include catalysts in fuel and extra-conductive crystals.


So although super atoms are nothing new, thanks to TU Delft the particles can now be collected in a very pure form and selected according to size, thereby making them suitable for chemical experiments.


Contact: Roy Meijer
Delft University of Technology

Related biology news :

1. Developing kryptonite for Superbug
2. Decoy makes sitting duck of superbugs
3. Mayo Clinic study: Ossurs collars superior in immobilization and reduction of pressure
4. Moss is a super model for feeding the hungry
5. CSIC and UAB will build the most advanced superconductor cable for electricity network
6. e-Smart(R) Technologies, Inc., Announces Next Generation Superthin Polyimide Flexible Circuit Biometric Super Smart Card(TM) card, the i am(TM) Card.
7. Positron emission tomography superior to standard evaluation tools in measuring treatment response
8. Colorado Engineering Firms Win NASA Grant to Develop Innovative Insulation for Next Generation Spacecraft - Super-Insulation May Allow Future Energy Efficient Appliances
9. e-Smart(R) Technologies Delivers Its New Super Smart Card(TM) in South Korea.
10. New research reveals shark superhighways and hotspots
11. e-SMART Technologies Continues Delivery of Its New Super SMART Card in South Korea
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Super atoms turn the periodic table upside down
(Date:11/18/2015)... new scientific discoveries deepen our understanding of how cancer ... challenges in better using that knowledge to guide treatment ... children continue to survive pediatric cancer, that counseling may ... John M. Maris, M.D ., a pediatric oncologist ... --> John M. Maris, M.D ., ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... , Nov. 17, 2015  Vigilant Solutions announces today ... its Board of Directors. --> ... recently retiring from the partnership at TPG Capital, one ... with over $140 Billion in revenue.  He founded and ... all the TPG companies, from 1997 to 2013.  In ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... 2015  Arxspan has entered into an agreement ... for use of its ArxLab cloud-based suite of ... partnership will support the institute,s efforts to electronically ... information internally and with external collaborators. The ArxLab ... the Institute,s electronic laboratory notebook, compound and assay ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 Orexigen® Therapeutics, ... will participate in a fireside chat discussion at the ... New York . The discussion is scheduled for ... .  A replay will be available ... Contact:McDavid Stilwell  , Julie NormartVP, Corporate Communications and ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015  Asia-Pacific (APAC) holds the ... (CRO) market. The trend of outsourcing to low-cost ... but higher volume share for the region in ... however, margins in the CRO industry will improve. ... ( ), finds that the market ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HALO ) will be ... York on Wednesday, December 2 at 9:30 a.m. ET/6:30 ... CEO, will provide a corporate overview. th Annual ... 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT . Jim Mazzola , ... corporate overview. --> th Annual Oppenheimer Healthcare Conference ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Florida (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... biggest event of the year and one of the premier annual events for ... and ran from 8–11 November 2015, where ISPE hosted the largest number of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: