Saturday, December 17, 2011

Blog Post 15: Dr. Asthana Presentation

Grains are small groups of atoms built around nucleation sites, and are found mainly in metals.  The perimeter of the grain is the grain boundary.  Controlling grain size and boundary forces, you can alter the yield strength of a material.  The smaller the grain size, the higher the force needed for dislocations, or shifting of the grains.  This is controlled by many methods including cooling rate, temperature, heat-treatment, annealing, cold working, quenching and work hardening. 

To make mono-silicon, you must go through a process.  It involves heating and cooling and nucleation sites to control the growth of the silicon crystal structure.  Three techniques are mentioned below:

"For monocrystalline processing, the most common method for manufacture involves the Czochralski process but other techniques include the Float-zone technique and the Bridgeman technique. The three techniques are used for crystal growth, but the Czochralski process is the most common as this process allows for large ingots of a semiconducting material (like silicon) to be produced at acceptable purity levels. The Float-zone and Bridgeman techniques offer very high purity levels but for most applications, such high purity levels are not required." 


More information about mono-silicon manufacturing can be found here:

Blog Post 13: Nano and Proteins

1. Post a brief description (and link) to a general overview of MALDI.

MALDI is short for Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization.  It analyzes proteins, DNA, peptides, sugars, polymers, and much more.  It does so by ionizing the sample by a UV laser, which fragments the building blocks of that sample into smaller pieces that are later analyzed.  Once ionized, the particles are then protonated or deprotonated.  The compounds are then analyzed by measuring their wavelengths.  Each compound or particle has a unique wavelength associated with it, which is it's "fingerprint" so to say.  

2. Post an image (3D) of the following proteins: microcystin LR, collagen, and pick another one of your favorite proteins.
3. Post the size of each of these proteins in nanometers.
Microcystin-LR - 2.94nm

Collagen- 300nm

Kinesin- 60nm

4. Research and post a cool nano-application that involves proteins.

Nanomotors and research involving biological motors that use proteins to operate can lead us to designing nanobots capable of stopping viruses.  This may also lead to designs of nanobots that use molecular machines that mimic biological motors that use proteins.
To see more visit:
A great resource for protein is at the Protein Data Bank at:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Blog Post 12: Invention Background/References

Resources for our Gecko Nanoadhesive:

Blog Post 11: Invention Team/Timeline

Team Members: Jonathan White*, Micheal Liss, Ben Illick

We are addressing the issue of advancing climbing gear by implementing an adhesive surface on gear to allow for reliable grip between climber and surface.  We will be using carbon nanotubes in our invention which mimic the grip of geckos found living in nature. Costs and environmental concerns are being researched.  Project due date is December 19th 2011.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Extra Post! Video

This is a video about quantum dots and the color quality it brings that beats LED and is able to focus the light spectrum chosen to emit. It also allows for greater efficiency of the source of light by eliminating heat loss from the light.

Blog Post 10: SEM Image

We took an image of the edge of a Men's Gillette Fusion razor blade.  It displays the scale on the bottom of the picture to get an idea of how close we zoomed in to the blade in the SEM microscope.  This was not the limits of the SEM's capabilities, but we were able to capture the lines in the aluminum and the contour of the sharpened edge of the blade.