Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Travel News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



NANO TECH
3-D printing turns nanomachines into life-size workers
by Staff Writers
Hanover NH (SPX) Mar 23, 2017


A 3-D printed gel structure lifts and lowers a US dime when alternately exposed to water and DMSO solvent. Image courtesy Chenfeng Ke.

Using advanced 3-D printing, Dartmouth College researchers have unlocked the key to transforming microscopic nanorings into smart materials that perform work at human-scale.

Nanomachines can already deliver medication and serve as computer memories at the tiny nanometer scale. By integrating a 3-D printing technique pioneered at Dartmouth's Ke Functional Materials Group, researchers may unlock even greater potential for these mini-machines. The research was published in the online edition of Angewandte Chemie, the prestigious journal of the German Chemical Society.

"Up until now, harnessing the mechanical work of nanomachines has been extremely difficult. We are slowly getting closer to the point that the tiny machines can operate on a scale that we can see, touch and feel." said Chenfeng Ke, Assistant Professor for Chemistry at Dartmouth College and principle investigator for the research.

In an example provided by Ke, the first-generation smart material lifted a dime weighing 2.268g. The coin, 15 times the weight of the structure that lifted it, was raised 1.6 mm- the equivalent of a human lifting a car.

"Creating nanomachine-based smart material is still extraordinarily complex and we are only just beginning, but this new technique could allow the design and fabrication of complex smart devices that are currently beyond our grasp," said Ke.

The design of the new material is based on Nobel Prize-winning research that turned mechanically interlocked molecules (MIMs) into work-performing machines at nanoscale. Previously, researchers have shown how light, heat and altered pH levels could force movement within a structure - known as a rotaxane - composed of rings on a molecular axle. Much the same way beads are threaded onto a string, the sliding - or shuttling - of rings along the axle causes the molecules to change shape and store energy.

According to the paper, MIMs are already widely used as molecular shuttles, switches, muscles and pumps. But for years, chemists have been stymied by the problem of ordering their random positions. Establishing such order is critical to keeping the structures from canceling out each other's mechanical movement so that their molecular motions can be amplified.

"Our work provides the first design principle to add 3-D printability to nanomachines. Importantly, we have also transformed molecular motions to macroscale to do useful work," said Ke, who did his post-doctoral research with one of the 2016 Nobel laureates, Sir Fraser Stoddart.

The research group designed and synthesized MIM-based gels with properties desirable for 3-D printing. Utilizing the hydrogen bonding interactions between nanorings, they successfully printed lattice-like 3-D structures. By crosslinking the axles, structures with good 3-D structural integrity and mechanical stability were created.

Researchers found that the complex 3-D architecture of these structures can be reversibly deformed and reformed through solvent exchange that switches the threaded ring structure between random shuttling and stationary states at the molecular level. This shape-changing and recovery behavior was found by to be repeated easily many times.

"Just like moving beads to strengthen or weaken a string, this action is critical because it allows the amplification of molecular motion into macroscopic motion through the conversion of chemical energy input into mechanical work," said Qianming Lin, the first author of the paper and a first-year graduate student in the Department of Chemistry at Dartmouth College.

Ke and his team hopes this advancement will enable scientists to develop smart materials and devices. For example, by adding contraction and twisting to the rising motion, molecular machines could be useful as soft robots that complete complicated tasks similar to a human hand.

Research paper

NANO TECH
Researchers develop new method to program nanoparticle organization in polymer thin films
Akron OH (SPX) Mar 15, 2017
Controlling the organization of nanoparticles into patterns in ultrathin polymer films can be accomplished with entropy instead of chemistry, according to a discovery by Dr. Alamgir Karim, UA's Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company Professor of Polymer Engineering, and his student Dr. Ren Zhang. Polymer thin films are used in a variety of technological applications, for example paints, lubricants, an ... read more

Related Links
Dartmouth College
Nano Technology News From SpaceMart.com
Computer Chip Architecture, Technology and Manufacture


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

NANO TECH
NANO TECH
Mars Volcano, Earth's Dinosaurs Went Extinct About the Same Time

Breaks observed in Curiosity rover wheel treads

Does Mars Have Rings? Not Right Now, But Maybe One Day

ExoMars: science checkout completed and aerobraking begins

NANO TECH
Team Indus To Send Seven Experiments To The Moon Including Three From India

Sun Devils working for a chance to induce photosynthesis on our lunar neighbor

NASA finds missing LRO, Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiters

Under Trump, the Moon regains interest as possible destination

NANO TECH
Scientists make the case to restore Pluto's planet status

ESA's Jupiter mission moves off the drawing board

NASA Mission Named 'Europa Clipper'

Juno Captures Jupiter Cloudscape in High Resolution

NANO TECH
Fledgling stars try to prevent their neighbors from birthing planets

Fossil or inorganic structure? Scientists dig into early life forms

Gigantic Jupiter-type planet reveals insights into how planets evolve

Operation of ancient biological clock uncovered

NANO TECH
N.Korea rocket test shows 'meaningful progress': South

MAXUS - Europe's largest sounding rocket to be launched from Esrange

Spaceport America sets new record for student launched sounding rocket

Satellite launch shelved over strikes

NANO TECH
China Develops Spaceship Capable of Moon Landing

Long March-7 Y2 ready for launch of China's first cargo spacecraft

China Seeks Space Rockets Launched from Airplanes

Riding an asteroid: China's next space goal

NANO TECH
Ice in Ceres' shadowed craters linked to tilt history

The many faces of Rosetta's comet 67P

Collapsing cliff reveals comet's interior

Cryovolcanism on Dwarf Planet Ceres




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement