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 -
3D Printer Vending Machine Dispenses Dreams
'Nanofax AG offers a technology that digitally reproduces objects, physically, at a distance.'- William Gibson, 1999.
3D Printing With Moon Regolith Simulant (Moon Dust)
Don't forget, it costs about 5k dollars to lift one pound up from Earth. A penny saved is a penny earned.
Strati 3D Printed Car
'You rode in it - you know how good it is.'- Philip K. Dick, 1956.
First 3D Printer In Space?
'It can be mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'- Arthur C. Clarke, 1978.
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.
The Living Tree House
'There were trees comprised of a central columnar trunk and four vast leaves...'
Flying Defibrillator Ambulance Drone
'The death-reversal equipment is on its way...'
High Fidelity Produces More Expressive Avatars!
'They are the audiovisual bodies that people use to communicate with each other...'
Physicists Build Repulsor / Tractor Beam
'Brandon swung mighty tractor beams upon the severed halves of the Jovian vessel...'
Will You Upload Your Mind Anytime Soon?
And if so, how long will the copy last?
Students! NASA Wants To 3D Print Your Tool Design In Space!
'Mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'
Amazing ARES Augmented Reality Sandbox
'First he showed him where the input and output of his brand-new kingdom were, and how to program wars...'
'3D Light Sculpture' Projected Directly Onto Retina
'...projects directly on the retina of the eye…'
3D Printer Vending Machine Dispenses Dreams
'Nanofax AG offers a technology that digitally reproduces objects, physically, at a distance.'
Why Not Nurse Grandma With A Robot?
'She's made of a combination of springs, levers, acoustic instruments...'
Flock Of Minisats Will Image The Earth
'We... dropped roughly a thousand eyes on Beta Hydri IV.'
Should Robots Have Civil Rights?
'I've seen things... you people wouldn't believe...'
Robert Heinlein, Your Self-Driving Car Is Almost Ready!
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'
The Manned Maneuvering Unit Story
'Little spurts of red-orange flame from the reaction pistol marked his companion's trail...'
Scheherazade, An Open Story Generator
'How can you compete with an IBM heavy-duty logomatic analogue?'
Sample The In Vitro Meat Cookbook
'I grabbed two Syntho-Steaks out of the freezer...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories