It is quite difficult to imagine a world in which people constantly interact with nanoparticles, while effortlessly changing their biological and chemical parameters – but this is the world the talented team of chemical engineers from the University of Texas at Austin seeks under the leadership of engineering professor Yuebin Zheng. Today, in a recent issue of the nature journal Nature Photonics, the team presented its new project of special nanoscale tweezers designed to capture and interact nanoparticles using light energy – this device can be a decisive step in advancing the field of applied nanotechnology.
Professor Zheng’s team has been working on these nano-tweezers for seven years – representing special opto-thermoelectric nanodevices, they can be extremely useful in changing the biological and chemical properties of nanoparticles. As the project manager himself claims, until now there was no known way to efficiently manipulate nanoparticles using conventional light energy, but now, thanks to the presented nanoscale tweezers, scientists can not only precisely control individual particles in the structure, but also affect the change in some of their properties.
The team also notes that the presented version of nanopincers is a slightly improved version of the previous concept, which used a rather complex structure of light input and, as a result, a more complex technological process of use.
However, for now, specialists are busy improving the current model of their nano-tweezers, since it is necessary to give them additional properties and opportunities for working in a more problematic environment. At the moment, scientists are faced with quite noticeable difficulties in terms of involving some additional catalysts that can work correctly with nanoparticles, especially when it comes to energy conversion processes – this is exactly the aspect that experts from the University of Texas rely on.