Navigation Links
Building a smaller, lighter future: Understanding polymer behaviors below 1 nanometer
Date:10/5/2010

Kyoto, Japan -- Knowing how to build nanosized assemblies of polymers (long molecular chains) holds the key to improving a broad range of industrial processes, from the production of nanofibers, filters, and new materials to the manufacture of low-energy, nanoscale circuits and devices. A recent paper in Nature Communications sheds light on key behaviors of polymers in specially engineered confined spaces, opening the door to a level of control that has previously been impossible.

Scientists in Japan at Kyoto University and Nagoya University have succeeded in manufacturing custom-designed sub-nanometer scale channels, or pores, which can be manipulated to trap polymers and allow researchers to observe how these chains respond to temperature changes. Previously this level of observation was not possible, and hence much about polymer behaviors in subnanometer spaces -- in particular thermal transitions -- was unknown.

The technique uses specially designed substances known as porous coordination polymers (PCPs), which are notable for the high-degree to which their pore sizes and other characteristics can be controlled.

"PCPs allow us to design cages in which to trap specific molecules," explains lead scientist Dr. Takashi Uemura of Kyoto University's Graduate School of Engineering. "In this case, polyethylene glycol molecules -- PEGs -- can be accommodated in the cages similarly to the way in which sea eels hide in holes. In open water there is no order to their swimming. But in cylindrical pipes, they prefer to arrange themselves linearly in groups. Polymer chains do this as well, becoming orderly assembled in the PCP channels."

In this case, the PCP channels were precisely tuned to control their size and inner surface characteristics, allowing the research team to directly observe how the polymers behaved. This led to the unexpected finding that the transition temperature -- in this case, melting point -- of confined PEGs decreased as their molecular weight -- length in this instance -- increased.

"This was exactly the opposite of what we had observed in bulk, that is, 'free' PEG," elaborates Dr. Susumu Kitagawa, deputy director of Kyoto University's Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS). "We believe this to be the result of destabilization of the PEG chains under confinement. Instability increases together with chain length."

Understanding such minute details of the behaviors of nanoconfined polymers gives rise to the possibility of future breakthroughs in nanoscale manufacturing based on assemblies of small numbers of polymer chains, which may in turn be used to fabricate a wide range of new materials.


'/>"/>

Contact: Yutaka Iijima
yutaka-iijima@icems.kyoto-u.ac.jp
Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences, Kyoto University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. PointCross Releases Catalyst for Building Business-Ready SharePoint Solutions in 1/10th the Time
2. Photo-catalytic, self cleaning coating for building exteriors
3. Techstreet Launches BuildingBlocks Utility for Industry Standards Saving Time and Increasing Productivity for Engineers
4. Arts Way Manufacturing Announces Launch of New Web Site For Arts Way Scientific - Buildings For Science
5. Secret of sandcastle construction could help revive ancient building technique, researchers say
6. Building better bone replacements with bacteria
7. Hendrick Construction Renovates USC Science Building
8. RPJ Housings Rebuilding Together Event Brings Estimated $300,000 Worth Of Volunteer Labor to Northern VA
9. Building Biotech Technology Transfer Opportunities: Sponsor and Developer Strategies for Success
10. Penn collaboration leads to simpler method for building varieties of nanocrystal superlattices
11. New silicon-germanium nanowires could lead to smaller, more powerful electronic devices
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2016)... 26, 2016  Agriculture nutrients are in the news ... is running their nitrate removal system on ... and coastal regions nationwide are painting the ... widespread issue. NECi Superior Enzymes, a biotechnology ... developed a new, easy to use device that fits ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... After several promising ... at the City of Knowledge in Panama, a 6 year-old Duchenne’s muscular ... US earlier this year following FDA approval of a second application for a ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Thailand’s Board ... BIO 2016 in San Francisco. Located at booth number 7301, representatives from the ... questions and discuss the Thai biotechnology and life sciences sector. , Deputy ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Scientists at the University of Athens say ... mesothelioma may be hampering the research that could lead to one good one. Surviving ... read it now. , The team evaluated 98 mesothelioma patients who ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/15/2016)...  A new partnership announced today will help ... in a fraction of the time it takes ... life insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient ... Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and ... weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... 2016   LegacyXChange, ... "Company") LegacyXChange is excited to release its ... to be launched online site for trading 100% guaranteed ... will also provide potential shareholders a sense of the ... an industry that is notorious for fraud. The video ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... , March 22, 2016 ... report "Electronic Sensors Market for Consumer Industry by Type ... Others), Application (Communication & IT, Entertainment, Home ... Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... expected to reach USD 26.76 Billion by ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):