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Switzerland has developed a "nanovalve" that can control individual particles

Views:6     Author:Site Editor     Publish Time: 2018-10-10      Origin:Site

Switzerland has developed a "nanovalve" that can control individual particles


Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, May 28th, Swiss researchers have developed a "nano-valve" that can control the movement of individual particles in micro-pipes at the nanoscale. It is expected to be used to study the properties of nanoparticles and help develop new materials and drugs.


The technology was developed by the research team of the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. They issued a press release saying that the valve is suitable for a variety of particles, such as metal or semiconductor nanoparticles, viral particles, antibody molecules, can manipulate particles as small as 10 nanometers in diameter, and is used in materials, chemistry and biomedical fields. .


At the nanoscale, the properties of matter are quite different from those of macroscopic states, and their motion cannot be controlled by mechanical valves. The researchers etched channels 300 to 500 nanometers in diameter on the silicon chip, narrowing the area where the valve needs to be installed, and mounting the electrodes outside the "bottleneck". Applying a specific electric field can exert a force on the particles in the channel and determine whether it can pass through the bottleneck.


Experiments show that the nanoparticles in pure water can't pass the bottleneck and the valve is closed. Applying an electric field allows the particles to pass through the bottleneck, which is equivalent to opening the valve. For the nanoparticles in the salt solution, the situation will be reversed, the valve is normally open, and turned off after power up.


The researchers used a three-pronged tube with a valve to separate the two nanoparticles that flow together to different outlets. This means that the corresponding piping system and electric field are designed to screen and filter particles of a specific nature. They also successfully direct individual particles to the area between the two valves, confined in a small space, which can reduce the interference of random motion of the particles, and facilitate the observation of particle properties.


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