3D Nano Molecular Structures Can Be Built On A Surface

3-D molecular structures can be built on a surface by introducing a ‘guest’ molecule; molecules are built upwards from a surface rather than just 2-D formations as previously achieved. This breakthrough was achieved by scientists at The University of Nottingham.

A natural biological process known as ‘self-assembly’ meant that once the scientists introduced other molecules on to a surface their host then spontaneously arranged them into a rational 3-D structure.

Professor Neil Champness said: “It is the molecular equivalent of throwing a pile of bricks up into the air and then as they come down again they spontaneously build a house.

“Until now this has only been achievable in 2-D, so to continue the analogy the molecular ‘bricks’ would only form a path or a patio but our breakthrough now means that we can start to build in the third dimension. It’s a significant step forward to nanotechnology.”


(3D nanotech molecule)

The new process involved introducing a guest molecule — in this case a ‘buckyball’ or C60 — on to a surface patterned by an array of tetracarboxylic acid molecules. The spherical shape of the buckyballs means they sit above the surface of the molecule and encourage other molecules to form around them. It offers scientists a completely new and controlled way of building up additional layers on the surface of the molecule.

Science fiction fans recall the autofac from the 1955 Philip K. Dick short story of the same name:

The cylinder had split. At first he couldn't tell if it had been the impact or deliberate internal mechanisms at work. From the rent, an ooze of metal bits was sliding. Squatting down, O'Neill examined them.

The bits were in motion. Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants, smaller than pins, working energetically, purposefully - constructing something that looked like a tiny rectangle of steel.

"They're building," O'Neill said, awed.

Via Nottignham press release.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/23/2010)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Manufacturing ")

XYZprinting 3D Pen Used, Reviewed By Terrible Artist
'Plastic comes out of the end of the drawing arm and hardens...' - Murray Leinster, 1945.

3D Printing Microparticles
'Finest quality. Superior workmanship...' - Ridley Scott, 1982.

LM3D Swim First 3D-Printed Production Car
'Almost as good as the original it was printed from…' - Philip K. Dick, 1956.

MultiFab 10-Material 3D Printer
'On the concrete platform, in front of the dying Biltong, lay a heap of originals to be duplicated.' - Philip K. Dick, 1956.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

SCiO Scanner Wants You To Be Spock
Almost as easy as a tricorder?

Self-Adapting Composite Heals Itself
'...Could seal the punctures that grain-of-sand-sized meteors might make.'

Rigid Clothing, Or Wearable Furniture?
'Earth's scientists solved the problem to some extent by devising rigid metallic clothing...'

Swarming Intelligent Aquatic Surface Robots Ahoy!
'A remote-controlled emulsion, as it were, with uniform center...'

SuitX Cheap Medical Exoskeleton
'... standing on two corrugated-soled titanium footplates...'

Harvesting Energy From Internal Resonance
'Sometimes a man has a windmill on his roof...'

Sticker Harvests Energy From Your Skin
Another way to harvest power from the body.

Twitter Sarcasm Detected By Computer
Seriously?

Myo-Controlled Prosthetic Arm
'Sensitive actuators touch the tendons in your right wrist.'

Self-Driving Trucks For Netherlands' Ports
'Trucks gulped packages and scurried like beetles...'

Google Should Name Roads After Science Fiction Authors
Heinlein, DIck, Niven - and more!

Apple Ring: Finally, Engineers Want To Make My Finger Watch
'Crayn glanced at his finger watch...'

First Flower Grown In Space Is Edible
Yeoman Rand, admire the flowers, please.

Get Your Own 64 Channel, Dry-Electrode Brain-Computer Headset!
'they all relaxed and got mellow....'

Biggest Drone Swarm Sets World Record
Most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) airborne simultaneously.

ATLAS Robot Now Does Housework!
'Just what did I want Flexible Frank to do?'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.