New nanoassembly technique is created

Nov 27, 2006

U.S. chemists at Rice University say they have discovered how to assemble gold and silver nanoparticle building blocks into larger structures.

The researchers say their method relates to one of nature's oldest known chemical innovations -- the self-assembly of lipid membranes that surround every living cell.

The method makes use of the hydrophobic effect, a biochemical phenomena that all living creatures use to create membranes -- one example of a micelle, a strong bi-layer covering that is made of two sheets of lipid-based amphiphiles, or molecules that have a water-loving, hydrophilic, end, and a water-hating, hydrophobic, end.

Like two pieces of cellophane tape being brought together, the hydrophobic sides of the amphiphilic sheets stick to one another, forming the bilayered micelle.

The scientists believe the new method will allow them to create a wide variety of useful materials, including extra-potent cancer drugs and more efficient catalysts for the chemical industry.

The discovery is detailed in the Nov. 29 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Atom-thick CCD could capture images: Scientists develop two-dimensional, light-sensitive material

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The science of airport bomb detection

Dec 10, 2014

As the holidays draw near, many of us will hop on a plane to visit friends and family – or just get away from it all. Some will be subjected to a swab at the airport to test clothes and baggage for explosives. ...

Recommended for you

The simplest element: Turning hydrogen into 'graphene'

Dec 16, 2014

New work from Carnegie's Ivan Naumov and Russell Hemley delves into the chemistry underlying some surprising recent observations about hydrogen, and reveals remarkable parallels between hydrogen and graphene ...

Future batteries: Lithium-sulfur with a graphene wrapper

Dec 16, 2014

What do you get when you wrap a thin sheet of the "wonder material" graphene around a novel multifunctional sulfur electrode that combines an energy storage unit and electron/ion transfer networks? An extremely ...

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.