Home > News > Caught on camera: the first glimpse of powerful nanoparticles

Caught on camera: the first glimpse of powerful nanoparticles

Bookmark and Share

This shows a slab through the 3-D reconstruction of particle 1 along the vertical plane with tentative atomic positions indicated. ABC repeats of {111} planes are visible. (Image Credit Monash University)

Researchers have developed a new method to capture the 3D structures of nanocrystals. Scientists believe these tiny particles could be used to fight cancer, collect renewable energy and mitigate pollution.

Metallic nanoparticles are some of the smallest particles. Their dimensions are measured in nanometres, with each nanometre being one millionth of a milimetre. Until now, it has been difficult to know how they work, because they are so small their structure is impossible to see.

The novel imaging method, developed by an international team from the US, Korea and Australia will allow researchers to investigate the 3D structure of these miniscule particles for the first time.

The research, published today in Science, was co-led by Associate Professor Hans Elmlund from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging based at Monash University. The work, performed in collaboration with researchers from Princeton University, Boston University, and Harvard, reveals the details of the method and shows how it can be used to characterise the 3D structures of these miniscule particles for the first time.

The method is called “3D Structure Identification of Nanoparticles by Graphene Liquid Cell EM (SINGLE)” and it exceeds previous techniques by combining three recently developed components.