Navigation Links
The perfect nanocube: Precise control of size, shape and composition

With growing interest in using nanoparticles for everything from antibacterial socks to medical imaging to electronic devices, the need to understand the environmental, health and safety risks of these particles also grows. Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a simple process for producing nanocrystals that will enable studies of certain physical and chemical properties that affect how nanoparticles interact with the world around them.

Because nanoparticles behave differently from bulk samples of the same material, new tests to understand how they affect biological systems must be developed. Toxicologists determine the hazards posed by nanoparticles by introducing them to a biological system and monitoring the effects, but they currently lack a set of control particles whose size, shape and composition have been carefully produced and characterized.

In a recent paper published in Angewandte Chemie,* NIST scientists describe a one-step process that allows them to control the size, shape and composition of gold-copper alloy nanocrystals to create perfect-edged nanocubes as small as 3.4 nanometersjust half the thickness of a cell wall and on the same size range as DNA.

The researchers combined and heated gold and copper precursors with other chemicals to produce highly crystalline, homogeneous, perfect nanocubes with abundant yield. To study the formation process, they removed samples at 1 hour, 1.5 hours, 5 hours, and 24 hours and found that just five hours were needed to produce perfectly cubic nanoparticles of uniform size. By adjusting the ratios of the chemicals in the original solution and the reaction time, they were able to precisely control the size, shape and composition of the nanocubes. This process is unique in allowing control of the ratio of copper to gold atoms within the nanocube to either 3:1 or 1:3.

"It's a simple process, and to the best of our knowledge is the first to use synthetic chemistry, or 'bottom up' technology, to produce gold-containing nanocubes below 5 nanometers. Anything less than 10 nanometers has been extremely challenging due to the mobile behavior of the gold atoms," says NIST physicist Angela R. Hight Walker, who wrote the paper with Yonglin Liu, a guest researcher at NIST.

The NIST-developed process for creating such nanocubes will allow toxicologists to systematically alter one of the nanocubes' characteristics and observe how the change affects the biological response, if at all.

This synthesis and the resulting high-quality nanocubes may have other applications in areas such as solar energy, says Liu. "Typically, we cannot make big batches of high-quality samples for testing; now we can."

The perfect-edged nanocubes are unique from other nanocubes in the literature, says Hight Walker. The sharp edges, as opposed to truncated or rounded edges, will enable different, more reactive chemistry that could be beneficial in applications such as catalysisin which the nanocubes would be used to initiate or enhance a chemical reaction.


Contact: Jennifer Huergo
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Related biology technology :

1. Solar power game-changer: Near perfect absorption of sunlight, from all angles
2. Nikon Instruments Perfect Focus System Wins Second Place in The Scientists Top Innovations of 2008 Award
3. Practice makes perfect -- motor memory possible for neuroprosthetic control
4. Ohio Executive Shares Why Ohio is the Perfect Location for Bioscience Business in National Ad Campaign
5. £4.9 million to develop metamaterials for invisibility cloaks and perfect lenses
6. Varian Medical Systems Exhibits a New Version of RapidArc(TM) Radiotherapy Technology and Other Products for Fast, Precise Cancer Treatment
7. Trinitas Comprehensive Cancer Center Now Offering Cancer Patients Faster, Ultra-Precise Radiation Using New RapidArc Technology
8. Dow AgroSciences Confirms Efficacy of Zinc Finger Nucleases for Precise Genome Modification in Maize
9. New Pre-Clinical Data on OmniGuides BeamPath NEURO(TM) Demonstrates Precise Cutting in Brain Tissue
10. SmartGenes Services for Faster, More Precise Identification of Bacteria and Fungi to be Used by The Johns Hopkins Hospital
11. NISTs second quantum logic clock based on aluminum ion is now worlds most precise clock
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
The perfect nanocube: Precise control of size, shape and composition
(Date:6/27/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... for clinical trials, announced today the Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT ... care circle with the physician and clinical trial team. , Using the CONSULT module, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... discussions on a range of subjects including policies, debt and ... Poloz. Speaking at a lecture to the Canadian ... to the country,s inflation target, which is set by both ... "In certain areas there needs to be ... why not sit down and address strategy together?" ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... UAS LifeSciences, one of the ... brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The company, which has been manufacturing ... to its list of well-respected retailers. This list includes such fine stores as ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is pleased to ... AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another AOAC-RI approval of the ... Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel Plate methods perform comparably ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:6/2/2016)... The Department of Transport Management (DOTM) of ... Dollar project, for the , Supply and Delivery ... IT Infrastructure , to Decatur ... Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international vendors participated in the ... was selected for the most compliant and innovative solution. The ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... 1, 2016 Favorable Government Initiatives ... and Criminal Identification to Boost Global Biometrics System Market ... TechSci Research report, " Global Biometrics Market By ... and Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", the global biometrics market ... on account of growing security concerns across various end ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... , May 16, 2016   EyeLock LLC ... today announced the opening of an IoT Center of ... strengthen and expand the development of embedded iris biometric ... unprecedented level of convenience and security with unmatched biometric ... one,s identity aside from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses video ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):