My watch list
my.chemeurope.com  
Login  

Laser light guides micro-particles to their target

11-01-2013: US and German scientists have used laser light to guide micro-particles through a solution towards a target. The technique could be applied to transport the particles to specific locations inside living cells, they say. These so-called ‘micro-swimmers’ consist of a polystyrene sphere with one hemisphere coated with a thin layer of gold.

The team used ‘photon nudging’, in which a weak laser light is used to intermittently illuminate the swimmers, to cause body-centred propulsion by photophoresis. The technique also allows adaptive control: the system continuously monitors the 3D orientation of the particle as it randomly rotates through the solution, so the operator can choose to only turn on the swimmer’s ‘engine’ when it is pointing towards the desired target.

Original publication:
B Qian et al, Chem. Sci., 2013.

Facts, background information, dossiers
More about Princeton University
  • News

    A more potent greenhouse gas than CO2

    While carbon dioxide is typically painted as the bad boy of greenhouse gases, methane is roughly 30 times more potent as a heat-trapping gas. New research in the journal Nature indicates that for each degree that the Earth's temperature rises, the amount of methane entering the atmosphere f ... more

    When boron butts in

    For Nature and chemists alike, making atmospheric nitrogen available for the formation of more complex nitrogen compounds is both essential and difficult. Paul Chirik and Scott Semproni at Princeton University, USA, report the first examples of the use of group 4 metallocene complexes for b ... more

More about RSC Publishing
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE