Scientists discover how to make nanostructures assemble themselves

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Princeton researchers have created ultrasmall plastic structures with a method that is cheaper and more versatile than previous techniques. The discovery has yielded surprising insights into the behavior of materials at very small scales, while spawning many basic research questions. It also could pave the way to a new generation of miniature products, from computer memory chips and video components to devices for sorting DNA molecules.

Professor of electrical engineering Stephen Chou and graduate student Larry Zhuang found that they could coax a flat sheet of plastic resin to assemble itself into a minute, perfectly ordered array of pillars -- with remarkably little specialized equipment. The pillars are a little more than half a micron (a millionth of a meter) in height and width. Viewing one of these pillars next to the head of a pin is like looking at a stack of about 15 quarters next to the dome of the U.S. Capitol. Chou expects that refinements of the technique will yield even smaller structures.

The researchers discovered the technique accidentally while working on another nano-fabrication process called imprinting. In that process, also invented by Chou, a pattern, or mask, is pressed into soft plastic polymer, like pressing minute fingers into wet plaster. The researchers were pressing a mask into polymer when dust prevented the two pieces from coming together. Afterwards, when they examined the polymer, they found that it contained a pattern of pillars even though the mask never touched it. Not only had the pillars grown by themselves, they had arranged themselves into a perfectly ordered array.

"It was a very surprising discovery," says Chou. "No one had ever seen such a thing."

Suddenly Chou had an entirely new production technique: simply bring the two pieces close together and let the pattern assemble itself. He dubbed the new approach LISA, for Lithographically I

Contact: Steven Schultz
Princeton University

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Scientists to prototype cyberinfrastructure for research and education access to ocean observatories
2. Scientists sequence genome of kind of organism central to biospheres carbon cycle
3. Scientists find nanowires capable of detecting individual viruses
4. Scientists discover potential new way to control drug-resistant bacteria
5. Scientists explore genome of methane-breathing microbe
6. Scientists decipher genetic code of biothreat pathogen
7. Stuck on you: Scientists lay bare secrets of bacterial attachment proteins
8. Scientists discover proteins involved in spread of HIV-1 infection
9. Scientists fear new Ebola outbreak may explain sudden gorilla disappearance
10. Scientists reinvent DNA as template to produce organic molecules
11. Scientists visualise cellular handmaiden that restores shape to proteins

Post Your Comments:

(Date:5/9/2016)... May 9, 2016 Elevay is ... to expanding freedom for high net worth professionals seeking ... today,s globally connected world, there is still no substitute ... ever duplicate sealing your deal with a firm handshake. ... by taking advantage of citizenship via investment programs like ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... BANGALORE, India and LONDON ... Infosys Finacle, part of EdgeVerve Systems, a ... ), and Onegini today announced a partnership to ... banking solutions.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ... banks to provide their customers enhanced security to ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... Research and Markets has announced ... 2016-2020,"  report to their offering.  , ... global gait biometrics market is expected to grow ... 2016-2020. Gait analysis generates multiple variables ... to compute factors that are not or cannot ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... GUELPH, ON , June 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - BIOREM ... it has been advised by its major shareholders, Clean ... LP, United States based venture ... common shares of Biorem (on a fully diluted, as ... for the disposition of their entire equity holdings in ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... Parallel ... clinical trials, announced today the Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module ... circle with the physician and clinical trial team. , Using the CONSULT module, patients ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... 2016  Liquid Biotech USA ... a Sponsored Research Agreement with The University of ... from cancer patients.  The funding will be used ... with clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a ... be employed to support the design of a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 Epic Sciences unveiled a liquid ... to PARP inhibitors by targeting homologous recombination deficiency ... new test has already been incorporated into numerous ... types. Over 230 clinical trials are ... including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK and WEE-1. Drugs ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: