Categories: world

MIT's “Implosion Fabrication” shrinks objects to create nanoscale versions

This website can earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of Use. The less you want something to be, the harder it is to build. This is the barrier that holds back many technologies from batteries to optics, but a new technology developed on MIT can make nanoscale materials easier to produce by shrinking larger patterns. The approach uses one type of absorbent position to produce 3D structures 1000 times less than the original. So far, techniques for creating small 3D structures were both painfully slow and limited in complexity. Most are about using 2D nanostructures etched on a surface and adding successive layers until you get the desired 3D shape. It's basically very slow 3D printing. There are some methods for accelerating small-scale 3D prints, but they only work with some specialized polymers that do not work for many applications. The technology of MIT is unique, because it should work with almost anything – metal, polymers and even DNA. The technology borrows from an established imaging technique called expansion microscopy; It only goes in reverse. In expansion microscopy, the tissues are embedded in hydrogel and then expanded to obtain high resolution scans. The team found that they could create large-scale objects in expanded hydrogels, then shrink them to nanoscale. They call it "implosion fabrication." The process begins with a scaffold consisting of an absorbent material called polyacrylate. A solution of fluorescein molecules may infiltrate polyacrylate. These appear as signs on the construction site (see below) when…

This website can earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of Use.

The less you want something to be, the harder it is to build. This is the barrier that holds back many technologies from batteries to optics, but a new technology developed on MIT can make nanoscale materials easier to produce by shrinking larger patterns. The approach uses one type of absorbent position to produce 3D structures 1000 times less than the original.

So far, techniques for creating small 3D structures were both painfully slow and limited in complexity. Most are about using 2D nanostructures etched on a surface and adding successive layers until you get the desired 3D shape. It’s basically very slow 3D printing. There are some methods for accelerating small-scale 3D prints, but they only work with some specialized polymers that do not work for many applications. The technology of MIT is unique, because it should work with almost anything – metal, polymers and even DNA.

The technology borrows from an established imaging technique called expansion microscopy; It only goes in reverse. In expansion microscopy, the tissues are embedded in hydrogel and then expanded to obtain high resolution scans. The team found that they could create large-scale objects in expanded hydrogels, then shrink them to nanoscale. They call it “implosion fabrication.”

The process begins with a scaffold consisting of an absorbent material called polyacrylate. A solution of fluorescein molecules may infiltrate polyacrylate. These appear as signs on the construction site (see below) when subjected to laser light. It allows researchers to attach molecules anytime they want. The molecules can be all as a gold nanoparticle or a square dot.

Everything is still “big” at that time – on the scale of millimeters instead of nanometers. In order to shrink the design to the desired size, the researchers add acid to the solution. It eliminates the negative charges in the polyacrylate gel, which means that it will contract. It draws the molecules along with it, resulting in a 10-fold decrease in the length of each dimension for a total 1000-fold volume decrease.

With current laboratory technology, the team can take an object with a volume of 1 cubic meter with a resolution of 50 nanometers. For larger objects of about 1 cubic centimeter, they can beat a resolution of 500 nanometers. This limit may come down with further improvements. The team looks at ways to use this technique to create improved lens optics and nanoscale robotics.

Now read:


Source link

Share
Published by
Faela