Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




CHIP TECH
ORNL microscopy yields first proof of ferroelectricity in simplest amino acid
by Staff Writers
Oak Ridge, TN (SPX) Apr 25, 2012


ORNL researchers detected for the first time ferroelectric domains (seen as red stripes) in the simplest known amino acid - glycine.

The boundary between electronics and biology is blurring with the first detection by researchers at Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory of ferroelectric properties in an amino acid called glycine.

A multi-institutional research team led by Andrei Kholkin of the University of Aveiro, Portugal, used a combination of experiments and modeling to identify and explain the presence of ferroelectricity, a property where materials switch their polarization when an electric field is applied, in the simplest known amino acid-glycine.

"The discovery of ferroelectricity opens new pathways to novel classes of bioelectronic logic and memory devices, where polarization switching is used to record and retrieve information in the form of ferroelectric domains," said coauthor and senior scientist at ORNL's Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS) Sergei Kalinin.

Although certain biological molecules like glycine are known to be piezoelectric, a phenomenon in which materials respond to pressure by producing electricity, ferroelectricity is relatively rare in the realm of biology. Thus, scientists are still unclear about the potential applications of ferroelectric biomaterials.

"This research helps paves the way toward building memory devices made of molecules that already exist in our bodies," Kholkin said.

For example, making use of the ability to switch polarization through tiny electric fields may help build nanorobots that can swim through human blood. Kalinin cautions that such nanotechnology is still a long way in the future.

"Clearly there is a very long road from studying electromechanical coupling on the molecular level to making a nanomotor that can flow through blood," Kalinin said.

"But unless you have a way to make this motor and study it, there will be no second and third steps. Our method can offer an option for quantitative and reproducible study of this electromechanical conversion."

The study, published in Advanced Functional Materials, builds on previous research at ORNL's CNMS, where Kalinin and others are developing new tools such as the piezoresponse force microscopy used in the experimental study of glycine.

"It turns out that piezoresponse force microsopy is perfectly suited to observe the fine details in biological systems at the nanoscale," Kalinin said. "With this type of microscopy, you gain the capability to study electromechanical motion on the level of a single molecule or small number of molecular assemblies. This scale is exactly where interesting things can happen."

Kholkin's lab grew the crystalline samples of glycine that were studied by his team and by the ORNL microscopy group. In addition to the experimental measurements, the team's theorists verified the ferroelectricity with molecular dynamics simulations that explained the mechanisms behind the observed behavior.

Research team members are ORNL's Nina Balke, Stephen Jesse, Alexander Tselev, Pratul Agarwal and Bobby Sumpter; the University of Aveiro's Alejandro Heredia, Igor Bdikin and Jose Gracio; and Vincent Meunier of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The full paper is published as "Nanoscale ferroelectricity in crystalline ? glycine" and is available here.

.


Related Links
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Computer Chip Architecture, Technology and Manufacture
Nano Technology News From SpaceMart.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





CHIP TECH
Stable Electrodes for Improving Printed Electronics
Atlanta, GA (SPX) Apr 24, 2012
Imagine owning a television with the thickness and weight of a sheet of paper. It will be possible, someday, thanks to the growing industry of printed electronics. The process, which allows manufacturers to literally print or roll materials onto surfaces to produce an electronically functional device, is already used in organic solar cells and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) that form the ... read more


CHIP TECH
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Brings 'Earthrise' to Everyone

Winners of 19th Annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race Announced

Russian Space Agency eyes Moon explorations

Russia postpones Luna-Glob moon mission

CHIP TECH
Mars Astronauts Could Risk DNA Damage

Asteroid sites hint at life on Mars

WSU astrobiologist proposes fleet of probes to seek life on Mars

People to Land on Mars in Next 40 Years

CHIP TECH
Boeing, NASA Sign Agreement on Mission Support for CST-100

Parachutes for NASA crew capsule tested

NASA Announces 16th Undersea Exploration Mission Dates and Crew

Dwindling US Space Budget Worries Scientist

CHIP TECH
China's Lunar Docking

Shenzhou-9 may take female astronaut to space

China to launch 100 satellites during 2011-15

Three for Tiangong

CHIP TECH
Russian cargo ship docks at International Space Station

Russian Cargo Craft Launches to Station

Commercial Platform Offers Exposure at ISS

Learn to dock ATV the astronaut way

CHIP TECH
Assembly begins for the third Ariane 5 to be launched in 2012

ILS Proton Successfully Launches Y1B Satellite For Yahsat

SpaceX aims for May 7 launch to ISS

SpaceX delays first private launch to space station

CHIP TECH
Some Stars Capture Rogue Planets

ALMA Reveals Workings of Nearby Planetary System

UF-led team uses new observatory to characterize low-mass planets orbiting nearby star

When Stellar Metallicity Sparks Planet Formation

CHIP TECH
360-Degree MEADS Radar Begins Integration Testing

Apple profit soars on rocketing iPhone-iPad sales

China enjoying fruit of Apple's labor

US commission says iPhone infringes Motorola patent




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement