A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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 |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Boring Company Bricks Predicted In 1929
'... used to make building blocks for these invaders.' - Frank Phillips, 1929.
Is It Possible To GROW Planes And Vehicles?
'These are your rudimentary seed packages...' - Greg Bear, 2015.
Scaly-Foot Snail Works With Iron
'Micro-Scale suit tiles fabricated by genetically engineered metal affinity bacteria...'
Looms To Manually Weave Lunar Rover Wheels
It's fascinating to me how the Apollo program forced people to think outside their usual boxes.
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.
Jetson ONE Personal Electric Aerial Vehicle
Who says you can't have your flying car?
Starlab By Nanoracks, A Commercial Space Station
'Webb Foster had built his space laboratory... It was a great crystal sphere, a thousand feet in diameter.'
Auto-Targeting Fire Sprinkler Systems Now Reality
I think every kitchen should have one of these.
Monarch Tractor - It's Electric, Autonomous and Smart
'Driver-optional' and follows gestures.
'Seabreeze' Apple And UCLA Project To Beat Depression
'It's illegal to hold back information during a psyche test,' the machine said peevishly.'
Hovermap By Emesent Autonomous Mapping Works Indoors - and Out
Perfect for exploring ancient artifacts on distant planets.
Sono Motor's Sion Sun-Powered Car
'...six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'
LEONARDO Robot Has Legs And Thrusters, Can Skateboard, Slackline
'a walking balloon proceeded with long strides of its aluminum legs over a slant of steep upland.'
Xavier Robots On Patrol For 'Anti-Social Behavior'
'This was as close as a robot could get to a cop in uniform.'
Rotating House in Bosnia
'... feel free to turn the house on your own.'
Ingenious Engineer Creates DIY Feeding Robot
'Waldo flexed and extended his fingers gently; the two pairs of waldoes in the screen followed in exact, simultaneous parallelism.'
SpaceX Creates 'Tholian Web' Mega Constellation Of Satellites
'We shall not see home again!'
Do Smart Glasses Need Forward-Facing Cameras?
'They were stylish, with yellow-tinted lenses and hip frames, but the posts were unusually thick.'
Adorable One-Seater Electric Car From Wuxi Sinotech
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed...'
Zoom Adds Real-Time, Live Translation
'He immediately turned the small shining disc of the Language Rectifier..'
It's Spacewalk Sunday, Thanks To The ESA
'The delicious, indescribable pleasure of being a little planet swinging through space...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories