Nanotech Roundup:Platform for Supramolecular Nanoassembly, 3d 100nanometer cubes, nanoelectromechanical single-atom switch

1. Platform for Controlled Supramolecular Nanoassembly

We here present a two-dimensional (2D) micro/nano-fluidic technique where reactant-doped liquid−crystal films spread and mix on micro- and nanopatterned substrates. Surface-supported phospholipid monolayers are individually doped with complementary DNA molecules which hybridize when these lipid films mix. Using lipid films to convey reactants reduces the dimensionality of traditional 3D chemistry to 2D, and possibly to 1D by confining the lipid film to nanometer-sized lanes. The hybridization event was observed by FRET using single-molecule-sensitive confocal fluorescence detection. We could successfully detect hybridization in lipid streams on 250 nm wide lanes. Our results show that the number and density of reactants as well as sequence of reactant addition can be controlled within confined liquid crystal films, providing a platform for nanochemistry with potential for kinetic control.

A Platform for Controlled Supramolecular Nano-Assembly — Supporting Information (8 pages pdf)

2. Self-Assembly of Lithographically Patterned Nanoparticles

The construction of three-dimensional (3D) objects, with any desired surface patterns, is both critical to and easily achieved in macroscale science and engineering. However, on the nanoscale, 3D fabrication is limited to particles with only very limited surface patterning. Here, we demonstrate a self-assembly strategy that harnesses the strengths of well-established 2D nanoscale patterning techniques and additionally enables the construction of stable 3D polyhedral nanoparticles. As a proof of the concept, we self-assembled cubic particles with sizes as small as 100 nm and with specific and lithographically defined surface patterns.

Supporting info


A Nanoelectromechanical Single-Atom Switch

We have exploited the electromechanical properties of gated mechanical break junctions to form single-atom relays. The gate voltage can be used to reversibly switch between a monatomic contact with a conductance around 2e2/h and the tunneling regime. In tunneling, the source−drain conductance varies smoothly with gate voltage. The characteristics of the devices can be understood within a simple continuum model. It indicates that the elastic properties of the substrate facilitate the electromechanical tuning and that the details of the switching depend sensitively on the nanoscale geometry of the electrode tips.

Supporting info