Amazing Nano Masterpieces

At the Materials Research Society December 2008 and April 2009 meetings, the popular "Science as Art" competition yielded some amazing images from the fields of nanotechnology. Some of prize winners include:

1. The Nano Teddy Bear which shows zinc oxide nanostructures deposited on an indium oxide coated glass substrate using an electrochemical deposition technique.

2. Carbon NanoEden

3. Nano Spaghetti and Meatballs where the 'spaghetti' is a collection of electrodeposited gold nanowires and the 'meatballs' are silicon nanoparticles.

4. Nanoflower made of crystalline wurtzite indium nitride made using a molecular bean epitaxy process.

5. The Nano-Grip composed of thick epoxy crystals self-assembled onto a 2.5 micron polystyrene sphere.

6. Modern Stonehenge consists of silicon nanopillars created using gallium implantation and deep reactive-ion etching.

Source: Nanowerk

Lookin' at DNA Nanostructures

Many DNA nanostructures have been constructed by scientists for many different kinds of applications, such as drug delivery, medical diagnosis, and DNA-based computers. But in order to be successful in designing these nanostructures, we must first find out what exactly the 3D structure of DNA looks like!

But how can we look at the structure DNA helix? It's so small! Well, scientists have built powerful microscopes to try and visualize DNA. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a powerful technique but does not visualize in 3D very well. Another powerful tool that has been built is called the electron cryomicroscopy (cryoEM).

CryoEM can be used to look at the structure of a 7 nm self-assembled DNA tetrahedron, which is an incredible achievenment for scientists. Never before has such a small biological molecule been looked at with such high resolution!

Source: Nano Letters