Levitating liquid reaction vessels
© Jose A. Bernat Bacete/Getty
Liquid droplets suspended in mid-air using sound waves could provide the ideal environment for creating self-assembling nanomaterials.
The interface between a liquid and air can be an ideal medium for self-assembling nanomaterials to form regular monolayered structures. However, in a conventional reaction flask, the liquid surface meets the side of the flask, which introduces solid–liquid and solid–air interfaces that disrupt nanostructure formation.
A team that included researchers from Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU) in China have used acoustic levitation to suspend droplets in mid-air, forming an uninterrupted air–liquid interface for nanomaterial self-assembly.
By varying the conditions, the team could make nanoassemblies consisting of one, two or three layers, and even three-dimensional hollow nanoassemblies.
The technique is promising for creating programmed nanoassemblies from a wide range of materials, from quantum dots to graphene, the researchers say.
- ACS Nano 13, 5243–5250 (2019). doi: 10.1021/acsnano.8b09628