Scientists are searching for faster, cheaper
ways of making useful nanoscale objects than today's chipmaking techniques.
Chemical methods are proving particularly fruitful.
Researchers from Basf Corporation, the University of Ulm and the
Technical University of Chemnitz in Germany have devised a relatively
simple way to make precisely-sized nanoscale rings en mass from many different
materials including polymers and ceramics.
These tiny rings can be used to make materials that bend, or refract,
light backwards. Negative refraction materials can be used to focus light
down to smaller areas than are possible using ordinary lenses. The rings
could eventually be used in powerful microscopes and equipment capable
of making very fast computer chips.
The method yields rings with outer diameters of 150 to 400 nanometers,
and inner diameters of 50 to 150 nanometers. A nanometer is one millionth
of a millimeter.
To make the rings the researchers formed glass spheres 1.1 microns
in diameter, put the spheres in ethanol and used a centrifuge to pack
the particles into a tight, orderly crystal. They immersed the crystal
in a liquid containing liquid plastic or ceramic and a solvent, and evaporated
the solvent to leave liquid ring material in the spaces immediately surrounding
the point where the spheres touch. They solidified the ring material,
dissolved the spheres with hydrofluoric acid vapor, then dispersed the
resulting rings in ethanol.
The work appeared in the March 15, 2005 issue of Angewandte
Chemie International Edition (The Preparation of Mesoscopic Rings
in Colloidal Crystal Templates).
Nanowire networks route
Cell combo yields
Physics maps city complexity
It Works: Self-assembly
renders ink physics
switch is electric
make nano rings
View from the High Ground Q&A
How It Works
News | Blog
Buy an ad link