Nanoparticles – Power to be Reckoned With

June 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: Important mechanism behind nanoparticle reactivity discovered

Related Stories

Researchers discover new fluorescent silicon nanoparticles

June 30, 2009

Researchers in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leicester have developed a new synthesis method, which has led them to the discovery of fluorescent silicon nanoparticles and may ultimately help ...

'There's Gold In Them That Exhausts!'

August 30, 2007

A University of Leicester research team is working on a new technique for growing nanoparticles which could have extraordinary implications in electronics, medicine, the measurement of atmospheric air and the cleansing of ...

Recommended for you

An engineered surface unsticks sticky water droplets

August 31, 2015

The leaves of the lotus flower, and other natural surfaces that repel water and dirt, have been the model for many types of engineered liquid-repelling surfaces. As slippery as these surfaces are, however, tiny water droplets ...

Electrical circuit made of gel can repair itself

August 25, 2015

(Phys.org)—Scientists have fabricated a flexible electrical circuit that, when cut into two pieces, can repair itself and fully restore its original conductivity. The circuit is made of a new gel that possesses a combination ...

0 comments

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.