Materials on the nanoscale not necessarily different from macro-world counterparts

Jul 13, 2004

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and NASA suggest that materials on the nanoscale may sometimes be subject to the same physical rules as their macro-world counterparts. The findings provide an exception to the conventional scientific notion that objects small enough to be measured in nanometers (one-billionth of a meter) behave according to different rules than larger objects.

A team led by Lawrence Bottomley in Georgia Tech’s School of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Jonathon Colton in the School of Mechanical Engineering found that the mechanical response of a multi-walled carbon nanospring was remarkably similar to the rules that govern the mechanical properties of springs on the macro scale. The results are published in the American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters, Volume 4, Number 6.

“Small may not necessarily be different when it comes to the mechanical properties of springs,” said Bottomley. The findings suggest there may be other nano materials that behave in ways similar to their macroscale counterparts.

The results were surprising because they ran counter to the common wisdom in the literature said Colton.

“You’ve got to study each case carefully, don’t just assume it’s different,” Bottomley added.

The team used an atomic force microscope to compress a multi-walled carbon nanospring attached to the cantilever probe tip. By simultaneously monitoring cantilever deflection, oscillation amplitude and resonance of the cantilever, the group found the nanospring compressed and buckled in the same ways a macroscale spring would.

In this one application we modeled the performance of a nanospring using the equations that are used to describe two macroscale springs in series. The agreement of data with the theory is remarkably good, said Bottomley.

In the future, the team plans further tests on multiwalled carbon nanosprings to correlate the number of walls, number of coils, and helical pitch with mechanical performance.

Other members of the research team included Mark Poggi, Jeffrey Boyles and Andrew McFarland from Georgia Tech; Cattien Nguyen from the ELORET Corporation and Ramsey Stevens and Peter Lillehei from NASA.

Source: www.gatech.edu/

Explore further: Understanding the source of extra-large capacities in promising Li-ion battery electrodes

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers Develop Nanoblade

Sep 25, 2007

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have created a razor-like material that is truly on the “cutting edge” of nanotechnology. Called nanoblades, these first-of-their-kind magnesium nanomaterials ...

Protein 'nanosprings' most resilient found in nature

Jan 15, 2006

A component of many proteins has been found to constitute one of the most powerful and resilient molecular "springs" in nature, researchers have discovered. The engineers and biologists from Duke University ...

Recommended for you

Tough foam from tiny sheets

4 hours ago

Tough, ultralight foam of atom-thick sheets can be made to any size and shape through a chemical process invented at Rice University.

Graphene surfaces on photonic racetracks

Jul 28, 2014

In an article published in Optics Express, scientists from The University of Manchester describe how graphene can be wrapped around a silicon wire, or waveguide, and modify the transmission of light through it.

Simulating the invisible

Jul 28, 2014

Panagiotis Grammatikopoulos in the OIST Nanoparticles by Design Unit simulates the interactions of particles that are too small to see, and too complicated to visualize. In order to study the particles' behavior, he uses ...

Building 'invisible' materials with light

Jul 28, 2014

A new method of building materials using light, developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, could one day enable technologies that are often considered the realm of science fiction, such as invisibility ...

User comments : 0