A new unique technology for simultaneous characterization of the structure and optical properties of nanoscale objects

Researchers of LNBE and SNOTRA LLC., a Skolkovo resident, have developed a unique technology for simultaneous characterization of the structure and optical properties of nanoscale objects.

This technology allows 3D structural and optical images of nano-objects to be obtained simultaneously for the same area of a sample. The results have been published in ACS Nano, a world's leading journal in nanotechnology.

Nanostructures are commonly examined by means of scanning microscopy, where the sample is touched with a sharp probe tip. However, this method only provides a 2D image, allowing neither the 3D structure to be determined nor the structural and optical characteristics of the same nano-object to be correlated.

Earlier, Dr. Efimov, the founder of SNOTRA LLC., has solved this problem by developing a device that make it possible to reconstruct the 3D structure by making a series of ultrathin sections of a sample followed by their scanning with a probe.

LNBE researcher have made the next logical step: they have developed a technology that allows one not only to analyze the 3D structure of nanomaterials, but also to perform simultaneous spectral analysis of the samples and determine their chemical composition.

Konstantin Mochalov, Ph.D., senior research assistant of the Biophysics Group of LNBE, the principal author of the published paper, gave an interview to RIA Novosti on this occasion, where he told: "We have developed a prototype instrument allowing us to simultaneously obtain 3D nanomaterial structure images and their optical images. This will permit quality control of nanomaterials and their manufacturing."

Professor Igor Nabiev, the leading scientist of LNBE and director of European Technological Platform "Semiconductor Nanocrystals," comments on the results of the study as follows: "This is a world-class development. The technology is highly demanded in the quality control of the production of nanomaterials and drugs, as well for diagnosis and monitoring of treatment." In this study, which was performed in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, France; the Shumakov Federal Research Center of Transplantology and Artificial Organs, Russia; and Moscow State University, Russia, the novel technology was applied to the study of liquid crystal materials with controlled optical properties.


Konstantin E. Mochalov, Ph.D. (mochalov@mail.ru)

Biophysics Group, Laboratory of Nano-Bioengineering, Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, 31 Kashirskoe shosse, Moscow, 115409 Russia

© 2012 Laboratory of Nano-BioEngineering