Navigation Links
3-D nanoparticle in atomic resolution
Date:2/22/2011

In chemical terms, nanoparticles have different properties from their big brothers and sisters: they have a large surface area in relation to their tiny mass and at the same time a small number of atoms. This can produce quantum effects that lead to altered material properties. Ceramics made of nanomaterials can suddenly become bendy, for instance, or a gold nugget is gold-coloured while a nanosliver of it is reddish.

New method developed

The chemical and physical properties of nanoparticles are determined by their exact three-dimensional morphology, atomic structure and especially their surface composition. In a study initiated by ETH Zurich scientist Marta Rossell and Empa researcher Rolf Erni, the 3D structure of individual nanoparticles has now successfully been determined on the atomic level. The new technique could help improve our understanding of the characteristic of nanoparticles, including their reactivity and toxicity.

Gentle imaging processing

For their electron-microscopic study, which was published recently in the journal Nature, Rossell and Erni prepared silver nanoparticles in an aluminium matrix. The matrix makes it easier to tilt the nanoparticles under the electron beam in different crystallographic orientations whilst protecting the particles from damage by the electron beam. The basic prerequisite for the study was a special electron microscope that reaches a maximum resolution of less than 50 picometres. By way of comparison: the diameter of an atom measures about one ngstrm, i.e. 100 picometres.

To protect the sample further, the electron microscope was set up in such a way as to also yield images at an atomic resolution with a lower accelerating voltage, namely 80 kilovolts. Normally, this kind of microscope of which there are only a few in the world works at 200 300 kilovolts. The two scientists used a microscope at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California for their experiments. The experimental data was complemented with additional electron-microscopic measurements carried out at Empa.

Sharper images

On the basis of these microscopic images, Sandra Van Aert from the University of Antwerp created models that sharpened the images and enabled them to be quantified: the refined images made it possible to count the individual silver atoms along different crystallographic directions.

For the three-dimensional reconstruction of the atomic arrangement in the nanoparticle, Rossell and Erni eventually enlisted the help of the tomography specialist Joost Batenburg from Amsterdam, who used the data to tomographically reconstruct the atomic structure of the nanoparticle based on a special mathematical algorithm. Only two images were sufficient to reconstruct the nanoparticle, which consists of 784 atoms. Up until now, only the rough outlines of nanoparticles could be illustrated using many images from different perspectives, says Marta Rossell. Atomic structures, on the other hand, could only be simulated on the computer without an experimental basis.

Applications for the method, such as characterising doped nanoparticles, are now on the cards, says Rolf Erni. For instance, the method could one day be used to determine which atom configurations become active on the surface of the nanoparticles if they have a toxic or catalytic effect. Rossell stresses that in principle the study can be applied to any type of nanoparticle. The prerequisite, however, is experimental data like that obtained in the study.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Rolf Erni
rolf.erni@empa.ch
41-448-234-080
Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA)
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. NC State engineers discover nanoparticles can break on through
2. Engineering nanoparticles for maximum strength
3. Altogen Biosystems Launches New Nanoparticle-based In Vivo Transfection Reagent
4. MonoSol Rx and Midatech Group Enter Collaboration Agreement to Unite Nanoparticle and Thin Film Drug Delivery Technologies
5. Surface plasmon resonances of metal nanoparticles in array can have narrower spectral widths
6. Enhancing solar cells with nanoparticles
7. Nanoparticles double their chances of getting into sticky situations
8. Gold-palladium nanoparticles achieve greener, smarter production of hydrogen peroxide
9. Safer nanoparticles spotlight tumors, deliver drugs
10. Fat droplet nanoparticle delivers tumor suppressor gene to tumor and metastatic cells
11. Bio-enabled, surface-mediated approach produces nanoparticle composites
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2016 , ... ... building management solutions and services based in Aurora, Ohio, has broken ground on ... business in the Research Triangle Park area, this new location solidifies a commitment ...
(Date:5/22/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Doctors in Rome say micronutrients found in certain foods have ... Mesothelioma has just posted an article on the new research. Click here to ... Sciences and Translational Medicine evaluated more than 150 studies on polyphenols in cancer for ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... May 20, 2016 , ... Kablooe Design, a leading provider of product ... official 25th anniversary of the business. “We have worked hard to build long-term relationships,” ... for the privilege and honor of serving their product design and development needs through ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... , ... May 20, 2016 , ... The recent recall ... as reported by Food Safety News on May 12, 2016(1), demonstrates the need for ... Olsen, CEO of Baltimore-based biotech firm, PathSensors, Inc. , PathSensor’s latest ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:3/17/2016)... , March 17, 2016 ABI Research, ... forecasts the global biometrics market will reach more ... 118% increase from 2015. Consumer electronics, particularly smartphones, ... fingerprint sensors anticipated to reach two billion shipments ... Dimitrios Pavlakis , Research Analyst at ABI ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... , March 15, 2016 Yissum Research ... the technology-transfer company of the Hebrew University, announced today ... remote sensing technology of various human biological indicators. Neteera ... $2.0 million from private investors. ... on the detection of electromagnetic emissions from sweat ducts, ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... March 14, 2016 http://www.apimages.com ... --> - Renvoi : image disponible via ... --> --> DERMALOG, le ... de nouveaux lecteurs d,empreintes digitales pour l,enregistrement des ... sera utilisé pour produire des cartes d,identité aux ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):