Carbon nanoparticles

Carbon is a Block P, Period 2, nonmetallic element. It is the sixth most abundantly available element in the universe, and is commonly obtained from coal deposits. It is the second most abundant element by mass in the human body after oxygen.

The three naturally occurring allotropes of carbon are graphite, diamond, and amorphous carbon. The morphology of carbon nanoparticles is spherical, and they appear as a black powder. Carbon nanoparticles can be surface functionalized, with organic molecules or polymers chemically bound to the particle surface.

Pure carbon has very low level of toxicity to humans. However, inhalation of coal dust or soot in large quantities can be dangerous, and can cause irritation of lung tissues and a congestive lung disease called pneumoconiosis.

  • Carbon Nanotubes Couple Light and Matter

    The formation of exciton-polaritons through strong light-matter coupling is a promising strategy for producing electrically pumped carbon-based lasers. Scientists from Heidelberg University and the University of St Andrews (Scotland) have now, for the first time, demonstrated this strong light-matter coupling in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Figure: Arko Graf (Heidelberg University)

    Scientists from Heidelberg and St Andrews work on the basics of new light sources from organic semiconductors. With their research on nanomaterials for optoelectronics, scientists from Heidelberg University and the University of St Andrews (Scotland) have succeeded for the first time to demonstrate a strong interaction of light and matter in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Such strong light-matter coupling is an important step towards realising new light sources, such as electrically pumped lasers based on organic semiconductors. They would be, amongst other things, important for applications in telecommunications. These results are the outcome of a cooperation between Prof. Dr Jana Zaumseil (Heidelberg) and Prof. Dr Malte Gather (St Andrews), and have been published in “Nature Communications”.

  • Nanostructures Made of Pure Gold

    Nanostructure made of gold.

    It is the Philosopher’s Stone of Nanotechnology: using a technological trick, scientists at TU Wien (Vienna) have succeeded in creating nanostructures made of pure gold.The idea is reminiscent of the ancient alchemists’ attempts to create gold from worthless substances: Researchers from TU Wien (Vienna) have discovered a novel way to fabricate pure gold nanostructures using an additive direct-write lithography technique. An electron beam is used to turn an auriferous organic compound into pure gold. This new technique can now be used to create nanostructures, which are needed for many applications in electronics and sensor technology. Just like with a 3D-printer on the nanoscale, almost arbitrary shapes can be created.