We have published a paper about synthetic chemical nanomotors with an overall size (30 nm) that is comparable to that of some enzymes (Nano Lett., 2014, 14 (5), pp 2407–2412), as well as nanopropellers that are small enough to navigate complex biological networks (diameter of 70 nm), yet can be fully controlled (ACS Nano, Article ASAP, DOI: 10.1021/nn502360t).
Our paper "Nanopropellers and Their Actuation in Complex Viscoelastic Media“ is the cover article for ACS Nano 8, 8794–8801, (2014). In addition the ACS Nano September 2014 podcast features our work. News sites and blogs report our work as "world’s smallest propeller“. (September 2014) Image by Alejandro Posada Boada.
John Gibbs will leave the group and move to a faculty position in Arizona where he will start his own group as a Prof in Physics; Marcel Pfeifer passed his Ph.D. exam – congratulations to both. Welcome to Prof. J.P. Singh from IIT Delhi who is a sabbatical visitor. (May, 2014).
Hybrid, multifunctional nanostructures with diverse 3D shapes and complex material composition can now be manufactured with a precise and efficient fabrication technique
The realisation of nanomachines is inching ever closer to reality. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart are helping make one of the grand challenges of nanoscience become reality. They have developed a method that makes it possible to manufacture an assortment of unusually shaped and functionalisable nanostructures. It lets them combine materials with widely varying chemical and physical properties at the smallest of scales. The team of scientists headed by Peer Fischer have even grown helical light antennas that are less than 100nm in length from materials which can typically not be shaped at the nanoscale. This is achieved by vapour depositing the material onto a super-cooled rotating disk. Not only does the process allow for the fabrication of nanostructures more exactly than previous methods, several billion of such nanoparticles can be produced in parallel in a rapid manner.