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Nanoscopic particles resist full encapsulation, Sandia simulations show
Date:10/12/2010

don't stick together. But when particles get small and the coatings become comparable in size to the particles, the shapes they form are asymmetric rather than spherical. Spherical particles keep their distance; asymmetric particles may stick to each other."

The simulation's finding isn't necessarily a bad thing, for this reason: Though each particle is coated asymmetrically, the asymmetry is consistent for any given set. Said another way, all coated nanoscopic sets are asymmetric in their own way.

A predictable, identical variation occurring in every member of a nanoset could open doors to new applications.

"What we've done here is to put up a large 'dead end' sign to prevent researchers from wasting time going down the wrong path," Lane said. "Increasing surface density of the coating or its molecular chain length isn't going to improve patchy coatings, as it would for larger particles. But there are numerous other possible paths to new outcomes when you can control the shape of the aggregation."


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Contact: Neal Singer
nsinger@sandia.gov
505-845-7078
DOE/Sandia National Laboratories
Source:Eurekalert  

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