Making nanodots useful for chemistry

June 18, 2003

Nanosized clusters of germanium that can be reacted chemically to make useful materials, such as plastics, have been made by chemists at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and UC Davis.

Nanoparticles, just a few atoms in size, can have different properties from bulk materials because of their small size. Germanium nanoparticles can have luminescent properties and could be used, for example, to make highly efficient lasers or other light-emitting devices. But these nanoparticles are difficult to work with without a chemical "handle."

Robin Tanke, an assistant professor of chemistry at UWSP, worked with UC Davis chemistry professors Susan Kauzlarich and Tim Patten to put useful coatings on germanium nanoclusters. Kauzlarich's laboratory has developed methods for making germanium and silicon nanoclusters, while Patten's research focuses on attaching polymer coatings to different kinds of nanoparticles.

Using this approach, the researchers grew chains of polymers from the nanoparticle surfaces. These materials could be made into plastics that could be cast as thin films for displays or other uses.

The strength of the chemical bonds between the nanoparticle and the coating makes the materials much more stable, Tanke said.

"You can process them as polymers, without losing the nanoparticles," she said.

The ability to put different types of chemical groups on the surface vastly expanded the possible uses of these semiconductor nanoparticles, Patten said. For example, one could connect a magnetic nanoparticle to a luminescent one to make a tiny building block that could be precisely moved or positioned on a surface, he said.
Katherine Pettigrew from UC Davis, Drew Murphy and Mark Thompson from the University of Southern California and Howard Lee from UltraDots Inc., Fremont, Calif. also contributed to the work, which was published in the journal Chemistry of Materials.

University of California - Davis

Related Nanoparticles Articles from Brightsurf:

An ionic forcefield for nanoparticles
Nanoparticles are promising drug delivery tools but they struggle to get past the immune system's first line of defense: proteins in the blood serum that tag potential invaders.

Phytoplankton disturbed by nanoparticles
Products derived from nanotechnology are efficient and highly sought-after, yet their effects on the environment are still poorly understood.

How to get more cancer-fighting nanoparticles to where they are needed
University of Toronto Engineering researchers have discovered a dose threshold that greatly increases the delivery of cancer-fighting drugs into a tumour.

Nanoparticles: Acidic alert
Researchers of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have synthesized nanoparticles that can be induced by a change in pH to release a deadly dose of ionized iron within cells.

3D reconstructions of individual nanoparticles
Want to find out how to design and build materials atom by atom?

Directing nanoparticles straight to tumors
Modern anticancer therapies aim to attack tumor cells while sparing healthy tissue.

Sweet nanoparticles trick kidney
Researchers engineer tiny particles with sugar molecules to prevent side effect in cancer therapy.

A megalibrary of nanoparticles
Using straightforward chemistry and a mix-and-match, modular strategy, researchers have developed a simple approach that could produce over 65,000 different types of complex nanoparticles.

Dialing up the heat on nanoparticles
Rapid progress in the field of metallic nanotechnology is sparking a science revolution that is likely to impact all areas of society, according to professor of physics Ventsislav Valev and his team at the University of Bath in the UK.

Illuminating the world of nanoparticles
Scientists at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) have developed a light-based device that can act as a biosensor, detecting biological substances in materials; for example, harmful pathogens in food samples.

Read More: Nanoparticles News and Nanoparticles Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to