Nanoparticles – Power to be Reckoned With

Jun 22, 2006

The University of Leicester is the co-ordinating partner in an international project involving information that can be stored on nano-particles.

The project, entitled Nanospin, aims to use the novel properties of nanoparticles in the building of new materials and devices and, looking even further ahead, to functionalise the nanoparticles themselves, by making them from more than one element, or as core-shell structures, so that each is able to become a device.

A simple example is a magnetic nanoparticle that can store a single data bit of information by defining the direction of its magnetisation. The data storage density of modern computer disks is impressive but if it becomes possible to store each data bit on a single nanoparticle, then storage densities 100 times greater could be achieved. To put this into context, such a nanoparticle medium could store about 2 million books, or a large library, on an area the size of a postage stamp.

The Nanospin partnership involves the Universities of Leicester, Reading and Surrey (UK), NCSR “Demokritos” (Athens, Greece), Sumy State University (Ukraine), CNR-ISM Rome (Italy), Universitat de Barcelona (Spain) and NT-MDT Co, Zelenograd (Russian Federation).

Chris Binns, Professor of Nanoscience in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leicester, commented:

“Nanotechnology, that is, the use of structures whose dimensions are on the nanometre scale to build new materials and devices, appears to hold the key to future developments in a wide range of technologies, including materials, science, information technology and healthcare.

“An important aspect of nanotechnology is the recognition that sufficiently small pieces of matter (nanoparticles) have electronic magnetic and optical properties that are different from the bulk material.

“In addition, their properties are size-dependent and so nanoparticles can be considered as new building blocks of matter or ‘giant atoms’, whose properties can be tailored.”

Source: University of Leicester

Explore further: New 'designer carbon' boosts battery performance

Related Stories

California beaches reopen after goo cleanup

8 hours ago

Seven miles of Southern California beach shut down for three days by an invasion of oily goo were reopened Friday evening after health officials declared the sand and water safe following a cleanup.

Self-folding robot walks, swims, climbs, dissolves

8 hours ago

A demo sparking interest at the ICRA 2015 conference in Seattle was all about an origami robot that was worked on by researchers. More specifically, the team members are from the computer science and artificial ...

Recommended for you

New 'designer carbon' boosts battery performance

May 29, 2015

Stanford University scientists have created a new carbon material that significantly boosts the performance of energy-storage technologies. Their results are featured on the cover of the journal ACS Central Sc ...

Self-replicating nanostructures made from DNA

May 28, 2015

(Phys.org)—Is it possible to engineer self-replicating nanomaterials? It could be if we borrow nature's building blocks. DNA is a self-replicating molecule where its component parts, nucleotides, have specific ...

Could computers reach light speed?

May 28, 2015

Light waves trapped on a metal's surface travel nearly as fast as light through the air, and new research at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory shows these waves, called surface plasmons, travel far enough ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.