In the future, nanoparticles may self-assemble themselves into chips and other definite structures

Dr. Eric M. Furst of University of Delaware and his postdoctoral researchers are imbued in making scalable forms of technology a reality. The findings of the group of scientists were published on September 17th in the Proceedings of the National Academics of Science (PNAS). The findings are titled ‘Multi-scale kinetics of a field directed colloidal phase transition’. The article elucidates the team’s research on colloids which are microscopic particles, a hundredth in diameter of a human hair. It is illustrated in the article how these microscopic ‘building blocks’ can be instructed to autonomously assemble on their own, into specific structures.

Chips assemble themselves

It’s quite interesting to observe the fashion in which the experiment was conducted. The team introduced paramagnetic colloids for observation purpose. Paramagnetic colloids are those which are attracted to magnetic fields instead of getting repelled. An external magnetic field was applied to these colloids at different intervals. The team interestingly observed that at particular optimum frequency levels and field strengths, the particles morphed from random, solid like material to highly organized crystalline grids or lattices. According to Dr. Furst, such a ‘guided separation’ of particles has never been witnessed before.

The team of scientists is quite motivated and exited by the developments as they believe that if perfection of this technique of arrangement of nano –particles is achieved, it could find application is various fields such as photonics. Photonics is the science of generation, emission, transmission, modulation, signal processing, switching, amplification, and detection/sensing of light. Photonics could just be one field of application. The process has the potential to be extended to other procedures of nanotechnology as well.

Via: UDaily

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