Nav: Home

A gold butterfly can make its own semiconductor skin

February 05, 2020

A nanoscale gold butterfly provides a more precise route for growing/synthesizing nanosized semiconductors that can be used in nano-lasers and other applications.

Hokkaido University researchers have devised a unique approach for making nanosized semiconductors on a metal surface. The details of the method were reported in the journal Nano Letters and could further research into the fabrication of nanosized light and energy emitters.

The approach, developed by Hokkaido University's Research Institute for Electronic Science and Hokkai-Gakuen University, involves generating localized heat on a gold nanoparticle within a butterfly-shaped nanostructure. The heat causes hydrothermal synthesis in which semiconducting zinc oxide crystallizes on the gold nanoparticle.

Scientists have been investigating ways to carefully place nano-sized semiconductors on metallic particles to utilize them in nano-lasing and nano-lithography, for example. But current methods lack precision or are too costly.

The approach developed by the Japanese team overcomes these issues.

The team first conducted simulations to determine the optimal conditions for precisely controlling the generation of heat in nanostructures. They utilized a phenomenon called surface plasmon resonance, a process which partly converts light to heat in metallic materials.

According to the simulations, a butterfly-shaped nanostructure consisting of two rhombus gold particles placed on either side of a gold nanorod would lead to optimal conditions. In this system, the nanorod, or the body of the butterfly, works as a nanoheater using a specific polarized light. After rotating the light polarization 90 degrees, the rhombus particles, or the wings of the butterfly, should work as an antenna to gather light at subwavelength spots in the butterfly's semiconductor skin.

To test this theory, they fabricated the gold butterfly and placed it in water inside a glass chamber. A solution made from equal parts zinc nitrate hexahydrate and hexamethylene tetramine was added to the chamber, which was then sealed and placed on a microscopic stage. When the laser light was shone on the system inside the chamber, the nanorod heated up and semiconducting zinc oxide particles crystallized along its surface as they expected.

This demonstrated that the butterfly-shaped gold nano-antenna can precisely control where plasmon-assisted hydrothermal synthesis occurs, therefore enabling the localized formation of nanosized semiconductors.

"Further research is expected to lead to the development of powerful nano-sized light sources, highly efficient photoelectric conversion devices, and photocatalysts," says Hokkaido University's Keiji Sasaki of the research team. "It could also lead to applications in semiconductor electronics and optical quantum information processing."
-end-


Hokkaido University

Related Butterfly Articles:

The butterfly effect: Climate change could cause decline of some alpine butterfly species
The long-term effects of climate change suggests that the butterfly effect is at work on butterflies in the alpine regions of North America, according to a new study by University of Alberta scientists -- and the predictions don't bode well.
Lyin' eyes: Butterfly, moth eyespots may look the same, but likely evolved separately
The iconic eyespots that some moths and butterflies use to ward off predators likely evolved in distinct ways, providing insights into how these insects became so diverse.
Male-killing bacteria linked to butterfly color changes
Like many poisonous animals, the African monarch butterfly's orange, white and black pattern warns predators that it is toxic.
A gold butterfly can make its own semiconductor skin
A nanoscale gold butterfly provides a more precise route for growing/synthesizing nanosized semiconductors that can be used in nano-lasers and other applications.
Every time the small cabbage white butterfly flaps its wings it has us to thank
Through close examination of genetic variation and similarities between existing populations, and comparisons of historical data regarding infestations of Pieris rapae in Brassicaceae crops, a consortium of researchers document how humans helped the small cabbage white butterfly spread from Europe across the world.
Butterfly numbers down by two thirds
Meadows adjacent to high-intensity agricultural areas are home to less than half the number of butterfly species than areas in nature preserves.
Potential treatment for cancer in butterfly disease
New research lays foundation for upcoming clinical trial for patients with epidermolysis bullosa.
A tasty Florida butterfly turns sour
A 15-year study led by University of Arizona entomologist Katy Prudic found that, when living apart from the unsavory bug it mimics, the viceroy butterfly becomes yucky, making biologists rethink old theories about animal mimicry.
'Butterfly-shaped' palladium subnano cluster built in 3-D
A Japanese research team at The University of Tokyo produced a 3-D cluster molecule based on palladium.
How fibrosis develops in butterfly syndrome patients
Researchers have pinpointed how fibrosis develops in butterfly syndrome patients.
More Butterfly News and Butterfly Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Meditations on Loneliness
Original broadcast date: April 24, 2020. We're a social species now living in isolation. But loneliness was a problem well before this era of social distancing. This hour, TED speakers explore how we can live and make peace with loneliness. Guests on the show include author and illustrator Jonny Sun, psychologist Susan Pinker, architect Grace Kim, and writer Suleika Jaouad.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#565 The Great Wide Indoors
We're all spending a bit more time indoors this summer than we probably figured. But did you ever stop to think about why the places we live and work as designed the way they are? And how they could be designed better? We're talking with Emily Anthes about her new book "The Great Indoors: The Surprising Science of how Buildings Shape our Behavior, Health and Happiness".
Now Playing: Radiolab

The Third. A TED Talk.
Jad gives a TED talk about his life as a journalist and how Radiolab has evolved over the years. Here's how TED described it:How do you end a story? Host of Radiolab Jad Abumrad tells how his search for an answer led him home to the mountains of Tennessee, where he met an unexpected teacher: Dolly Parton.Jad Nicholas Abumrad is a Lebanese-American radio host, composer and producer. He is the founder of the syndicated public radio program Radiolab, which is broadcast on over 600 radio stations nationwide and is downloaded more than 120 million times a year as a podcast. He also created More Perfect, a podcast that tells the stories behind the Supreme Court's most famous decisions. And most recently, Dolly Parton's America, a nine-episode podcast exploring the life and times of the iconic country music star. Abumrad has received three Peabody Awards and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2011.