Australian researchers at the University of Adelaide have developed a method for embedding light-emitting nanoparticles into glass without losing any of their unique properties – a major step towards ‘smart glass’ applications such as 3D display screens or remote radiation sensors.
This new “hybrid glass” successfully combines the properties of these special luminescent (or light-emitting) nanoparticles with the well-known aspects of glass, such as transparency and the ability to be processed into various shapes including very fine optical fibres.
The research, in collaboration with Macquarie University and University of Melbourne, has been published online in the journal Advanced Optical Materials.
“These novel luminescent nanoparticles, called upconversion nanoparticles, have become promising candidates for a whole variety of ultra-high tech applications such as biological sensing, biomedical imaging and 3D volumetric displays,” says lead author Dr Tim Zhao, from the University of Adelaide’s School of Physical Sciences and Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS).
“Integrating these nanoparticles into glass, which is usually inert, opens up exciting possibilities for new hybrid materials and devices that can take advantage of the properties of nanoparticles in ways we haven’t been able to do before. For example, neuroscientists currently use dye injected into the brain and lasers to be able to guide a glass pipette to the site they are interested in. If fluorescent nanoparticles were embedded in the glass pipettes, the unique luminescence of the hybrid glass could act like a torch to guide the pipette directly to the individual neurons of interest.”
Although this method was developed with upconversion nanoparticles, the researchers believe their new ‘direct-doping’ approach can be generalised to other nanoparticles with interesting photonic, electronic and magnetic properties. There will be many applications – depending on the properties of the nanoparticle.
“If we infuse glass with a nanoparticle that is sensitive to radiation and then draw that hybrid glass into a fibre, we could have a remote sensor suitable for nuclear facilities,” says Dr Zhao.
To date, the method used to integrate upconversion nanoparticles into glass has relied on the in-situ growth of the nanoparticles within the glass.
“We’ve seen remarkable progress in this area but the control over the nanoparticles and the glass compositions has been limited, restricting the development of many proposed applications,” says project leader Professor Heike Ebendorff-Heideprem, Deputy Director of IPAS.
“With our new direct doping method, which involves synthesizing the nanoparticles and glass separately and then combining them using the right conditions, we’ve been able to keep the nanoparticles intact and well dispersed throughout the glass. The nanoparticles remain functional and the glass transparency is still very close to its original quality. We are heading towards a whole new world of hybrid glass and devices for light-based technologies.”
Learn more: Glass now has smart potential
The Latest on: Nanoparticles and glass
via Google News
The Latest on: Nanoparticles and glass
- Why vaccines are in short supply, after billions spent and dozens of wartime declarationson February 23, 2021 at 12:34 pm
This is a hugely complex supply chain," producing billions of vaccines, says one CEO. "Once you address a bottleneck at one point, you identify the next bottleneck in the process. It’s a bit of a game ...
- After Billions of Dollars and Dozens of Wartime Declarations, Why Are Vaccines Still in Short Supply?on February 23, 2021 at 9:37 am
The U.S. government has invested billions of dollars in manufacturing and used a wartime act dozens of times to boost supplies, and yet there's still not enough COVID vaccine on the way to meet demand ...
- Ultrasound and magnetism let drug-delivery nanobeads travel upstreamon February 19, 2021 at 1:41 pm
Although various groups are already working on nanoparticles that could be used for directed drug delivery via the bloodstream, most of those particles are designed to "go with the flow." Now, however ...
- Dynamics of nanoparticles using a new isolated lymphatic vessel lumen perfusion systemon February 19, 2021 at 9:26 am
Nanoparticles used in drug delivery systems ... vessel from a rat iliac lymph node that was isolated, inserted between glass micropipettes in the tissue chamber, and ligated.
- Nanoparticle gel creation may unite oil and wateron February 11, 2021 at 6:11 am
Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology NIST and the University of Delaware have claimed a gel made with the addition of the right na ...
- Nanoparticle gel creation may unite oil, water in manufacturing-friendly approachon February 11, 2021 at 5:58 am
Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Delaware have claimed a gel made with the addition of the right nanoparticles can mix oil and water to ...
- Nanoparticle gel unites oil and water in manufacturing-friendly approachon February 11, 2021 at 1:36 am
Instead of designing nanoparticles to remain at the interface between the ... harnessed in smart windows that sandwich a thin layer of the gel between two panes of glass. “This optical property could ...
- Nanoparticle gel unites oil and water in manufacturing-friendly approachon February 11, 2021 at 1:05 am
Oil and water may not mix, but adding the right nanoparticles to the recipe can convert these two immiscible fluids into an exotic gel with uses ranging from batteries to water filters to ...
- Scientists create flexible biocompatible cilia that can be controlled by a magneton February 10, 2021 at 6:23 am
Researchers at the University of Campinas's Chemistry Institute (IQ-UNICAMP) in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, have developed a template-free technique to fabricate cilia of different sizes that ...
via Bing News