Chemists perform ‘surgery’ on nanoparticles

A team of chemists led by Carnegie Mellon University’s Rongchao Jin has for the first time conducted site-specific surgery on a nanoparticle. The procedure, which allows for the precise tailoring of nanoparticles, stands to advance the field of nanochemistry.

 The surgical technique developed by Qi Li, the study’s lead author and a 3rd year graduate student in the Jin group, will allow researchers to enhance ‘ functional properties, such as catalytic activity and photoluminescence, increasing their usefulness in a wide variety of fields including health care, electronics and manufacturing. The findings were published in Science Advances.

“Nanochemistry is a relatively new field, it’s only about 20 years old. We’ve been racing to catch up to fields like organic chemistry that are more than 100 years old,” said Jin, a chemistry professor in the Mellon College of Science. “Organic chemists have been able to tailor the functional groups of molecules for quite some time, like tailoring penicillin for better medical functions, for example. We dreamed that we could do something similar in nanoscience. Developing atomically precise nanoparticles has allowed us to make this dream come true.”

In order to make this “nano-surgery” a reality, researchers needed to begin with atomically precise nanoparticles that could be reliably produced time after time. Jin’s lab has been at the forefront of this research.

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Image Credit:   Carnegie Mellon University

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2018-03-22T14:33:13+00:00

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