Navigation Links
Nanoparticles digging the world's smallest tunnels
Date:1/23/2013

This press release is available in German.

The world's smallest tunnels have a width of a few nanometers only. Researchers from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Rice University, USA, have dug such tunnels into graphite samples. This will allow structuring of the interior of materials through self-organization in the nanometer range and tailoring of nanoporous graphite for applications in medicine and battery technology. Results are now presented in the scientific journal Nature Communications (DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2399).

The tunnels are manufactured applying nickel nanoparticles to graphite which then is heated in the presence of hydrogen gas. The surface of the metal particles, that measure a few nanometers only, serves as a catalyst removing the carbon atoms of the graphite and converting them by means of hydrogen into the gas methane. Through capillary forces, the nickel particle is drawn into the "hole" that forms and bores through the material. The size of the tunnels obtained in the experiments was in the range of 1 to 50 nanometers, which about corresponds to one thousandth of the diameter of a human hair.

To furnish proof of the real existence of these graphite tunnels, the researchers have made use of scanning electron and scanning tunneling microscopy. "Microscopes, in fact, image only the upper layers of the sample," the principal authors of the study, Maya Lukas and Velimir Meded from KIT's Institute of Nanotechnology, explain. "The tunnels below these upper layers, however, leave atomic structures on the surface whose courses can be traced and which can be assigned to the nanotunnels by means of the very detailed scanning tunneling microscopy images and based on computerized simulations." In addition, the depth of the tunnels was determined precisely by means of a series of images taken by a scanning electron microscope from different perspectives.

Porous graphite is used, for example, in the electrodes of lithium ion batteries. The charge time could be reduced using materials with appropriate pore sizes. In medicine, porous graphite could serve as a carrier of drugs to be released over longer periods of time. Replacing graphite by nonconductive materials, e.g. boron nitride, with atomic structures similar to that of graphite, the tunnels could serve as basic structures for nanoelectronic components such as novel sensors or solar cells.


'/>"/>

Contact: Monika Landgraf
presse@kit.edu
49-721-608-47414
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. Marshall study shows nanoparticles used as additives in diesel fuels can travel from lungs to liver
2. Metal nanoparticles shine with customizable color
3. New measuring techniques can improve efficiency, safety of nanoparticles
4. Light touch keeps a grip on delicate nanoparticles
5. Nanoparticles seen as artificial atoms
6. Nanoparticles found in moon glass bubbles explain weird lunar soil behavior
7. Study improves understanding of surface molecules in controlling size of gold nanoparticles
8. Gold nanoparticles could treat prostate cancer with fewer side effects than chemotherapy
9. New structural information on functionalization of gold nanoparticles
10. New imaging technique homes in on electrocatalysis of nanoparticles
11. Lung mucus gel scaffold prevents nanoparticles from getting through
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Nanoparticles digging the world's smallest tunnels
(Date:2/10/2016)... ASAE is introducing a hybrid membership model ... the option of joining or renewing through an organizational ... staff size, every employee in any size association or ... all available member benefits.   John H. ... options will allow organizations of any size and their ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... 10, 2016  Matchbook, Inc., a company specializing ... biotech companies, announced today the appointment of ... Jim brings nearly 25 years of experience in ... spent nearly two decades in executive level roles ... at Genzyme and, most recently headed global logistics ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 10, 2016 , ... SonaCare Medical, LLC reports the introduction ... remote monitoring. The inaugural launch of this new technology occurred over the course ... Peretsman to a HIFU technical expert at SonaCare Medical headquarters. , Sonalink ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Cenna Bioscience Inc., an emerging biopharmaceutical ... Alzheimer’s disease, announced today it has been selected to present at the Cavendish Global ... Palm Beach, Florida. The purpose of the Forum is to help family offices ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:2/11/2016)... Feb. 11, 2016  Vigilant Solutions announces today that its ... being used by Lee,s Summit Police ... location and arrest of a homicide suspect. ... covers around 65 square miles and is home to roughly ... has a single mobile license plate reader system and also ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... February 10, 2016 ... to 2016 iris recognition market report, combined ... is more widely accepted for border control. ... fingerprint and iris recognition technology in a ... avoid purchasing two individual biometrics devices. ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... AWRE ), a leading supplier of biometrics software and services, ... December 31, 2015.  --> --> ... an increase of 61% compared to $4.3 million in the same ... was $2.6 million compared to $0.2 million in the fourth quarter ... Higher revenue and operating income in the fourth quarter of this ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):