Let s get small
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SATURDAY MORNING PHYSICS – SPRING 2011 February 18, 2011. Let’s Get Small. Chris Hughes Scott Paulson Costel Constantin. What is a nanometer?. This is a flea on Murray. A flea is about 1 millimeter in size.

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February 18, 2011

Let’s Get Small

Chris Hughes

Scott Paulson

Costel Constantin

What is a nanometer?

This is a flea on Murray. A flea is about 1 millimeter in size.

Fleas (and all living things) are made of cells. A typical cell is about 1 micron in size

1000 times smaller

1000 times smaller

This is Murray. Murray is about 1 meter in size

1000 times smaller

Why study nano-physics?

Inside cells we find DNA. DNA is, about 1 nanometer across (but can be very long!)

Recent breakthroughs allow us to not only study, but also CREATE (see the 10 micron long “nanoguitar”, with 50 nm wide strings!) objects at the nanometer scale. At this size we find that systems behave very different from their macroscopic counterparts, and this will lead to exciting new technologies. JMU’s nanoscience laboratories house state of the art facilities where students can create and study a wide variety of systems at this length scale!

Material Properties: Continuum

  • Measure Bulk Properties

  • Electrical (Resistivity)

  • Mechanical (Strength)

  • Thermal (melting point)

  • Optical (color)

Material Properties: Atoms

Electron Density of C60

Hydrogen Spectrum

What is Nano?

Study of structure where at least 1 and usually 2-3 dimensions are 1~100 nanometers in size

Fluorescence of CdSe Nanocrystals

Why is Nanoscience Different?Strength and Composites

Why is Nanoscience DifferentElectronics

Why is Nanoscience DifferentChemistry (and Thermal)

Why is Nanoscience DifferentChemistry (and Thermal)

Why is Nanoscience DifferentChemistry

  • Number of atoms on surface?

    • Proportional to r2

  • Number of atoms in volume?

    • Proportional to r3 as

  • Reactivity depends on ratio of surface/volume

    • Proportional to r2/r3 = 1/r

    • The smaller the sample the bigger surface/volume

Why Now? Atomic Force Microscopy

Tools of the trade

What Can Nanoscience Do?

Lighter, more agile, fly longer without refuel, hovers, smaller, gather more information (superior sensors).

1947- 100 Transistors

2004-108 Transistors

More is Different!

Imitating Nature

  • Nature creates useful structures at the nanoscale all the time.

Nacre is 3000x stronger than the aragonite it is made of…how?

Nudelman, F.; Gotliv, B. A.; Addadi, L.; Weiner, S. (2006). "Mollusk shell formation: Mapping the distribution of organic matrix components underlying a single aragonitic tablet in nacre". Journal of Structural Biology 153 (2): 176.

Red Abalone

Imitating Nature

Kalpana S. Katti, Dinesh R. Katti and BedabibhasMohanty (2010). “Biomimetic Lessons Learnt from Nacre”, in Biomimetics Learning from Nature, AmitavaMukherjee (Ed.), ISBN: 978-953-307-025-4, InTech, Available from: http://www.intechopen.com/articles/show/title/biomimetic-lessons-learnt-from-nacre


  • Nature’s most important polymer

DNA Origami

  • Because of the complementarity of DNA, it can be used as a scaffold to self-assemble structures on the nano-scale.

DNA Origami

  • Top row, folding paths. a, square; b, rectangle; c, star; d, disk with three holes; e, triangle with rectangular domains; f, sharp triangle with trapezoidal domains and bridges between them (red lines in inset). Dangling curves and loops represent unfolded sequence. Second row from top, diagrams showing the bend of helices at crossovers (where helices touch) and away from crossovers (where helices bend apart). Colour indicates the base-pair index along the folding path; red is the 1st base, purple the 7,000th. Bottom two rows, AFM images. White lines and arrows indicate blunt-end stacking. White brackets in a mark the height of an unstretched square and that of a square stretched vertically (by a factor >1.5) into an hourglass. White features in f are hairpins; the triangle is labelled as in Fig. 3k but lies face down. All images and panels without scale bars are the same size, 165 nm 165 nm. Scale bars for lower AFM images: b, 1 m; c–f, 100 nm.

Folding DNA to create nanoscale shapes and patternsPaul W. K. RothemundNature 440, 297-302 (16 March 2006)doi:10.1038/nature04586

DNA Origami

  • a, Model for a pattern representing DNA, rendered using hairpins on a rectangle (Fig. 2b). b, AFM image. One pixelated DNA turn (100 nm) is 30 the size of an actual DNA turn (3.6 nm) and the helix appears continuous when rectangles stack appropriately. Letters are 30 nm high, only 6 larger than those written using STM in ref. 3; 50 billion copies rather than 1 were formed. c, d, Model and AFM image, respectively, for a hexagonal pattern that highlights the nearly hexagonal pixel lattice used in a–i. e–i, Map of the western hemisphere, scale 1:2 1014, on a rectangle of different aspect ratio. Normally such rectangles aggregate (h) but 4-T loops or tails on edges (white lines in e) greatly decrease stacking (i). j–m, Two labellings of the sharp triangle show that each edge may be distinguished. In j–u, pixels fall on a rectilinear lattice. n–u, Combination of sharp triangles into hexagons (n, p, q) or lattices (o, r–u). Diagrams (n, o) show positions at which staples are extended (coloured protrusions) to match complementary single-stranded regions of the scaffold (coloured holes). Models (p, r) permit comparison with data (q, s). The largest lattice observed comprises only 30 triangles (t). u shows close association of triangles (and some breakage). d and f were stretched and sheared to correct for AFM drift. Scale bars: h, i, 1 m; q, s–u, 100 nm.

Folding DNA to create nanoscale shapes and patternsPaul W. K. RothemundNature 440, 297-302 (16 March 2006)doi:10.1038/nature04586

Toward Better Circuits?

  • Working with the CalTech group, researchers at IBM Almaden Res. Center are developing ways of using DNA self-assembled structures as templates for microelectronics.


DNA Origami

  • From http://www.physics.ox.ac.uk/biophysics/turberfield/images/tetrahedron.jpg

NanoDays/Making Stuff

When: 1-4 pm, on March 27th.

Where: Explore More Discovery Museum, Harrisonburg VA.

  • Local high school educators, JMU Nanotechnology faculty,

  • and the Explore More Discovery Museum are partnering for

  • the first annual NanoDays Celebration.

  • NanoDays celebrations will combine simple hands-on activities for children with events exploring current research

  • for adults.

  • NanoDays activities demonstrate different, unexpected properties of materials at the nanoscale

  • -- sand that won’t get wet even under water, water that won’t spill from a teacup, and colors that depend upon

  • particle size. There will also be a microscope that allows you to "feel" the surface of materials on the nanoscale.

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