Researchers Use Gold Nanoparticles to Unfold 3-D Structures

Researchers at NC State have developed a technique that uses nanoparticles, nanospheres and nanorods, to trigger shape changes in polymers. These differently shaped nanoparticles exhibit different surface plasmon resonances and will heat when exposed to specific wavelengths of light. When embedded in polymers, this causes the material to heat and change its shape. This work has the potential for use in soft robotics applications like biomedical implants. For more on this work, please see the NC State press release.

Sequential Actuation of Shape-Memory Polymers through Wavelength-Selective Photothermal Heating of Gold Nanospheres and Nanorods

Authors: Sumeet R. Mishra and Joseph B. Tracy, North Carolina State University

Published: June 15, Applied Nano Materials

DOI: 10.1021/acsanm.8b00394

Abstract: Photothermal triggering of shape-memory polymers is an appealing noncontact mode of actuation for responsive materials and soft robotics. Wavelength-selective photothermal triggering of shape recovery is reported in thermoplastic polyurethane shape-memory polymers with embedded gold (Au) nanospheres and nanorods. Light-emitting diodes with wavelengths of 530 and 860 nm matched to the surface plasmon resonances drive selective shape recovery. Wavelength-selective shape recovery enables sequential actuation, as demonstrated in a wavelength-controlled stage with optically controlled height and tilt angle using legs of shape-memory-polymer films with embedded Au nanospheres and nanorods.

 

Looking inside 18th Century Ivory Mannequins

Duke’s Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility (SMIF) is working with conservationists at Rubenstein Library to carefully image anatomical models that have been housed behind glass since the 1950s. Once the original has been scanned, researchers use a 3D printer to create a plastic replica. The model can be handled to prevent damage to the original. To learn more, visit the recent news feature or watch the video describing the process.

Girls STEM Day @ Duke Fuels the STEM Pipeline

On Saturday, May 19th, Girl Scouts and their families traveled to Duke University to learn from and work with over 100 women in STEM careers across the Triangle. Girl Scouts earned badges in digital photography, forensics, and robotics through a variety of different activities including use of SMIF’s scanning electron microscope. In a parallel parents forum, female STEM professionals, high school college counselors and university admissions counselors engaged parents and troop leaders in interactive panel discussions. To learn more about the event and see more photos, read Duke’s News Release.

Participants earning the digital photography badge were charged with imaging samples that they collected with both light and electron microscopes. These ranged from a flower petal (below image top) to a bagel (below image bottom).

 

 

New Grad Student Opportunity: Free Cryo-EM Workshop

The Van Andel Research Institute is hosting a cryo-EM workshop August 13-15, 2018 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Full scholarships, including travel, are available for up to 15 graduate students. Applications are due May 11, 2018.

Taught by internationally recognized cryo-EM experts, Cryo-EM at the Van Andel Research Institute will give gifted graduate students an intense overview of the latest innovative methodology and its applications across several fields including cancer and neurodegenerative disease research. By the end of the week, students will have a greater appreciation of what can be achieved through the application of cryo-EM.

Sessions will cover:

  • Electron microscopy
  • Electron tomography
  • Image processing basics
  • Image processing and 3-D reconstruction (hands-on session)
  • Negative stain and cryo-EM grid preparation
  • Cryo-EM on the Arctica and the Krios with a Volta phase plate

The course is designed to engage students and promote discussion between fellow participants and course instructors. In addition to talks and hands-on lessons, there will be social events that will provide opportunities to network.

For more information and to apply please visit the workshop website. Questions can be directed to Aubrie Bruinsma at aubrie.bruinsma@vai.org.

 

Raman Spectroscopy Workshop at Harvard

Horiba Scientific and Harvard’s Center for Nanoscale Systems will be hosting a two day Raman spectroscopy workshop May 15 – 16.  The lectures will be focused on Raman spectroscopy of 2D materials, but anyone with interest in learning the fundamentals and applications of Raman spectroscopy in greater detail should attend.

There will be a poster session and cocktail reception the evening of May 15th.  Please consider submitting a poster to help foster discussion about the topics that interest you and the challenges that you face in your research.  Poster abstracts should be sent to joanne.lowry@horiba.com.

David Tuschel from Horiba Scientific will be presenting the lectures at the workshop.  David has more than 30 years of experience in optical characterization of materials.  David shares responsibility with Fran Adar also from Horiba for authoring the Molecular Spectroscopy Workbench, which appears regularly in Spectroscopy magazine.

Since space in the workshop is limited there is a small ticket fee to discourage no shows.  Tickets are available here.

More information can be found in this flier.