New nanodevices for force/mass measurements and data storage: design and characterisation

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Sch of Chemistry

Abstract

It has been only a decade since nanomanufacturing, a new area of nanotechnology, has emerged that combines chemistry and fabrication to produce precise devices at the nanometer scale. And what a successful time it has been! During this period, it has become possible to control the position of molecules with 0.1 nm precision, to operate nanomachines at extremely high frequencies exceeding 10^9 Hz, to produce logic gates that switch in 0.1 ns and dissipate less than 10^{-21} J of energy, to convert power greater than 10^9 W/m^3, to build macroscopic components with tensile strength greater than 5x10^{10} Pa. Each of these capabilities is an aspect of nanomanufacturing that is continually improving.This proposal exploits fully the new area of nanoscience and suggests advanced designs and working prototypes of new nanodevices in the areas of electromechanics and quantum computing, with the ultimate goal to prepare them for integrated fabrication. To achieve the power of measuring the absolute mass of a single molecule, an ultrahigh frequency nanoresonator based on the thermal vibrations of double-walled carbon nanotubes will be developed and characterized. Due to the small effective mass of its vibrating parts, the nanoresonator has an extremely high sensitivity to the additional mass of just a few molecules. A fast response to applied forces makes it capable of measuring extremely weak forces reaching attonewton accuracy. Carbon nanotubes are the focus of a worldwide research effort, due to their exceptional mechanical and electronic properties. They present a wide range of conductive behaviour, from semiconductor to superconductor. These properties make carbon nanotubes an ideal candidate for integration into nanoscale electronic circuits to build a new generation of computers. The electronics industry is searching for a replacement of silicon based technologies for data storage and computer memory. Existing technologies, such as magnetic hard disks, cannot be used in the sub-micrometer scale machines and will soon reach their fundamental physical limitations. In this proposal, a new device for storing information will be developed, which is made entirely of carbon nanotubes and combines the speed and price of dynamic memory with the nonvolatility of flash memory. A critical assessment of the potential and capacity of carbon nanotubes, empty and filled with material, as nanowires with tunable properties will also be undertaken.The research will be undertaken at the University of Nottingham, where a collaborative capability between the Schools of Chemistry, Physics and Pharmacy, and the Nottingham Nanotechnology and Nanoscience Centre will be established. This will provide a platform for correlating multiscale modelling and theory development with state of the art characterisation and measurements of physical properties of carbon nanotubes and advanced functional materials. This will bring together otherwise disparate strengths in atomic resolution materials characterisation, experimental nanometrology and both quantum mechanical and classical modelling in order to target the proposed device development. A theoretical group, based at the School of Chemistry and led by the Applicant, will be working on the development of a multiscale modelling of the physical and chemical properties of carbon nanotubes filled with nanocrystalline solids, and the development and theoretical characterisation of novel nanodevices based on carbon nanotubes. Experimental groups, funded by the Schools of Pharmacy and Physics and co-supervised by the Applicant, will devote their work to experimental electrical and structural characterisation of the new nanotube devices.

Publications

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Bichoutskaia E (2012) Electronic excitation in bulk and nanocrystalline alkali halides. in The Journal of chemical physics

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Chamberlain TW (2015) Isotope substitution extends the lifetime of organic molecules in transmission electron microscopy. in Small (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany)

 
Description An EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellowship
(2008-2014) has been focused on the study of novel
properties of advanced functional materials at the
nanoscale, and the development of new carbon-based
devices. It had allowed for a high calibre,
internationally leading research group in
Computational Nanoscience and Materials Modelling
to be fully established at Nottingham, and this
EPSRC investment to be further consolidated in a
€1.4M ERC Consolidator award to Bichoutskaia
(2013-2018).

New carbon-based nanodevices for storing data,
which combine the speed and price of dynamic
memory with the non-volatility of flash memory,
have been proposed and characterised. A new
approach to measuring extremely weak (atto-Newton)
forces based on the thermal vibrations of the
walls of carbon nanotubes has been developed. The
device development also included fundamental
studies of the properties and capabilities of the
"building blocks" - carbon nanotubes. Fundamental
understanding of the transport, thermodynamic,
mechanical and encapsulating properties of carbon
nanotubes allows critical assessment of their
potential in the proposed devices. The relative
oscillations of the walls of carbon nanotubes have
been utilized in the design of nanoresonators and
memory cells. For high frequency resonators,
investigations of the operational characteristics
include resonant frequencies and quality factors,
mass measurements of a nano-object adsorbed on the
wall of carbon nanotube, and response to the
applied weak external force. For memory cells,
computations of switching voltage and time,
lifetime in position ON, estimations of the
uniformity and accessibility of the device have
been suggested.

Recent advances in electron microscopy have
stimulated unprecedented growth of interest in
low-voltage aberration-corrected transmission
electron microscopy (AC-TEM), which has been used
in many important applications offering not only
structure visualization but also visualization of
dynamical processes including movements of
individual atoms and chemical interactions of
atoms. These advances have been particularly
beneficial for studying nano-carbon materials.
Spontaneous self-assembly of carbon nano-ribbons
inside carbon nanotubes has been predicted
theoretically and observed in AC-TEM . The ability
of AC-TEM to observe the dynamics of individual
atoms under controlled influence of the e-beam
brings a new dimension to the method potentially
providing the tool for direct measurements of
diffusion coefficients, cross-sections, chemical
constants and other characteristics of the
processes that take place at the scale of atoms.

In 2010, we developed a new theoretical framework,
CompuTEM, which has an advantage over the
state-of-the-art image simulation techniques in
its ability to simulate the dynamics of structural
transformations of nano-objects under the
influence of the electron beam. CompuTEM can be
used not only to elucidate the mechanisms for
structural transformations observed in microscope
but also to predict new transformation routes
ahead of time- and cost-consuming experimental
efforts! These advances place theory in the
position where it can lead and not just follow the
experimental efforts. The core theoretical
frameworks proposed during the CAF grant offer
solutions to problems across multiple and
wide-ranging disciplines.

The quality of this research is reflected in 120
peer-reviewed publications of high calibre,
including 42 papers funded by this CAF grant.
Exploitation Route New fundamental analytical solutions, developed in
my group, to the problem of electrostatic
interactions between charged dielectric particles
and surfaces was a major breakthrough in the
theory of electrostatics. These new theoretical
developments offered solutions to serious
unresolved problems of friction charging of
pharmaceutical powders during manufacture,
transportation and handling. They have attracted
intense academic and industrial attention, leading
to a strong collaboration with the Pulmonary
Department at GSK to study the consequences of
tribocharging of aerosols used in dry powder
inhalers. A collaboration with a USA start-up
company, EnergiaQ Inc., has been established on
the development of high-energy-density storage
systems for electric vehicles.

A new computational methodology, CompuTEM,
developed in my group, has a major advantage over
the state-of-the-art image simulation techniques,
and is capable of simulating the dynamics of
structural transformations of materials in
transmission electron microscope. It has been used
in a number of European collaborative research
studies with Profs. Kaiser (Germany), Suenaga
(Japan), Knizhnik (Russia), Kotakoski (Finland),
Faulques (France), Chuvilin (Spain).



A new direction of my research on computational
solutions to gas storage, energy and our
sustainable futures is strongly aligned with the
sustainability agenda, an issue facing the entire
global chemicals industry. In a partnership with
Professor M. Schroeder, a new cohort of PhD
students and PDRAs working on innovative green
resource and energy efficient solutions has been
trained.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Chemicals,Electronics,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

URL http://ebesley.chem.nottingham.ac.uk/
 
Description A collaborative capability was established for correlating multiscale modelling and theory development, with measurements of properties and state-of-the-art characterisation of carbon nanotubes and functional materials. A worldwide network of collaborators has been supported over the past 6 years funded by EPSRC, ERC, the Royal Society, the Russian Fund for Basic Research, CNRS (France), DFG (Germany), COST action, the Directorate General of Higher Education of Indonesia, CONACYT (Mexico), "Science without Borders" programme (Brazil), the Thronson Foundation (USA), and St. Petersburg State University (Russia). A long list of visiting international researchers who come to my laboratory to gain research experience include Prof. A. Khachatourian, California State University, USA (2012, 2013); Dr. A. Popov (2009, 2010, 2012-2014), Institute of Spectroscopy, Troitsk, Russia; Prof. E. Faulques (2011-2012), Institute of Materials Jean Rouxel, CNRS, France, who took a year-long sabbatical to join my group; Mr. Ilya Zlatkin (2013), visiting PhD student from St. Petersburg State University, Russia; Ms. B. Loftus (2010), international summer student from Carroll University, USA; Dr. I Gusti Made Sanjaya (2009 - 2010), the State University of Surabaya, Indonesia; Ms. Olga Ershova (2009), MSc student from the Moscow Institute for Physics and Technology, who subsequently completed a PhD at Nottingham.
First Year Of Impact 2010
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Electronics,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Impact Types Economic

 
Description COST
Amount € 600,000 (EUR)
Organisation European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) 
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 01/2010 
End 11/2014
 
Description COST Action
Amount € 500,000 (EUR)
Funding ID CA15107 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 04/2016 
End 04/2021
 
Description Consolidator Grant
Amount € 1,400,000 (EUR)
Funding ID 307755-FIN 
Organisation European Research Council (ERC) 
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 01/2013 
End 12/2017
 
Description EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account
Amount £48,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2016 
End 04/2017
 
Description EPSRC Industrial CASE PhD Award
Amount £32,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 09/2020
 
Description Leverhulme Trust Research Grant
Amount £290,000 (GBP)
Organisation The Leverhulme Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2016 
End 05/2019
 
Description Transformation of Nanostructure under the Electron Beam: Atomic Imaging and Computational Modelling 
Organisation University of Ulm
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution development of CompuTEM, computational modelling of transformation of nanostructure under the electron beam
Collaborator Contribution atomic-scale AC-TEM imaging of transformation of nanostructure under the electron beam
Impact 1. Direct transformation of graphene to fullerene. Chuvilin, A., Kaiser, U., Bichoutskaia, E., Besley, N. A. and Khlobystov, A. N. Nature Chemistry 2, 450-453 (2010). 2. Reactions of the inner surface of carbon nanotubes: the process of nano-protrusion formation imaged at the atomic scale. Chamberlain, T. W., Meyer, J. C., Biskupek, J., Leschner, J., Santana, A., Besley, N. A., Bichoutskaia, E., Kaiser, U. and Khlobystov, A. N. Nature Chemistry 3, 732-737 (2011). 3. Self-assembly of a sulphur-terminated graphene nanoribbon within a single-walled carbon nanotube. Chuvilin, A., Bichoutskaia, E., Gimenez-Lopez, M. C., Chamberlain, T. W., Rance, G. A., Kuganathan, N., Biskupek, J., Kaiser, U. and Khlobystov, A. N. Nature Materials 10, 687-692 (2011). 4. Interactions and reactions of transition metal clusters with the interior of single-walled carbon nanotubes imaged at the atomic scale. Zoberbier, T., Chamberlain, T. W., Biskupek, J., Kuganathan, N., Eyhusen, S., Bichoutskaia, E., Kaiser, U. and Khlobystov, A. N. Journal of the American Chemical Society 134, 3073-3079 (2012). 5. Size, structure and helical twist of graphene nanoribbons controlled by confinement in carbon nanotubes. Chamberlain, T. W., Biskupek, J., Rance, G. A., Chuvilin, A., Alexander, T. J., Bichoutskaia, E., Kaiser, U. and Khlobystov, A. N. ACS Nano 6, 3943-3953 (2012). 6. Electron-beam engineering of single-walled carbon nanotubes from bilayer graphene. Algara-Siller, G., Santana, A., Onions, R., Suyetin, M., Biskupek, J., Bichoutskaia, E. and Kaiser, U. Carbon 65, 80-86 (2013). 7. Isotope substitution extends the lifetime of organic molecules in transmission electron microscopy. Chamberlain, T. W., Biskupek, J., Skowron, S. T., Bayliss, P. A., Bichoutskaia, E., Kaiser, U. and Khlobystov, A. N. Small 11, 622-629 (2015). 8. Electron beam controlled covalent attachment of small organic molecules to graphene. Markevich, A., Kurasch, S., Lehtinen, O., Reimer, O., Feng, X., Müllen, K., Turchanin, A., Khlobystov, A. N., Kaiser, U. and Besley, E. Nanoscale 8, 2711-2719 (2016).
Start Year 2010
 
Description Transformation of Nanostructure under the Electron Beam: Atomic Imaging and Computational Modelling 
Organisation University of Warwick
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution development CompuTEM, computational modelling of transformation of nanostructure under the electron beam
Collaborator Contribution AC-TEM imaging of transformation of nanostructure under the electron beam
Impact 1. High-precision imaging of an encapsulated Lindqvist ion and correlation of its structure and symmetry with quantum chemical calculations. Bichoutskaia, E., Liu, Z., Kuganathan, N., Faulques, E., Suenaga, K., Shannon, I. and Sloan, J. Nanoscale 4, 1190-1199 (2012). 2. Aberration corrected imaging of a carbon nanotube encapsulated Lindqvist ion and correlation with density functional theory calculations. Sloan, J., Bichoutskaia, E., Liu, Z., Kuganathan, N., Faulques, E., Suenaga, K. and Shannon, I. Journal of Physics: Conference Series 371, 012018 (2012). 3. Band gap expansion, shear inversion phase change behaviour and low-voltage induced crystal oscillation in low-dimensional tin selenide crystals. Carter, R., Suyetin, M., Lister, S., Dyson, M. A., Trewhitt, H., Goel, S., Liu, Z., Suenaga, K., Giusca, C., Kashtiban, R. J., Hutchinson, J. L., Dore, J. C., Bell, G. R., Bichoutskaia, E. and Sloan. J. Dalton Transactions 43, 7391-7399 (2014).
Start Year 2012
 
Description Transformation of Nanostructure under the Electron Beam: Atomic Imaging and Computational Modelling, Chuvilin 
Organisation CIC nanoGUNE Consolidor
Country Spain 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution computational modelling of transformation of nanostructure under the electron beam; development of CompuTEM
Collaborator Contribution AC-TEM imaging of transformation of nanostructure under the electron beam
Impact in addition to already reported: 1. Inclusion of radiation damage dynamics in high-resolution transmission electron microscopy image simulations: The example of graphene. Santana, A., Zobelli, A., Kotakoski, J., Chuvilin, A. and Bichoutskaia, E. Physical Review B 87, 094110 (2013). 2. Using transmission electron microscopy to stimulate and understand the formation of defects in graphene. Chuvilin, A., Zubeltzu, J., Zurutuza, A., Bichoutskaia, E. and Lopatin, S. Microscopy and Analysis 28, 5-12, November (2014).
Start Year 2010
 
Description electrostatic interactions 
Organisation California State University, Northridge
Department Department of Physics and Astronomy
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution development of novel electrostatic models
Collaborator Contribution development of novel electrostatic models
Impact 1. Electrostatic analysis of the interactions between charged particles of dielectric materials. Bichoutskaia E., Boatwright A. L., Khachatourian A. and Stace A. J. J. Chem. Phys. 133, 024105 (10 pages) (2010). 2. Why like-charged particles of dielectric materials can be attracted to one another. Stace, A. J., Boatwright, A. L., Khachatourian, A. and Bichoutskaia, E. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 354, 417-420 (2011). 3. Electrostatic force between a charged sphere and a planar surface: a general solution for dielectric materials. Khachatourian, A., Chan, H.-K., Stace, A. J. and Bichoutskaia, E. Journal of Chemical Physics 140, 074107 (2014). 4. Progress in the theory of electrostatic interactions between charged particles. Lindgren, E. B., Chan, H.-K., Stace, A. J. and Besley, E. Perspective Article, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 18, 5883-5895 (2016).
Start Year 2010
 
Description electrostatic interactions 
Organisation Sorbonne University
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution development of novel electrostatic models
Collaborator Contribution development of novel electrostatic models
Impact 1. Electrostatic analysis of the interactions between charged particles of dielectric materials. Bichoutskaia E., Boatwright A. L., Khachatourian A. and Stace A. J. J. Chem. Phys. 133, 024105 (10 pages) (2010). 2. Why like-charged particles of dielectric materials can be attracted to one another. Stace, A. J., Boatwright, A. L., Khachatourian, A. and Bichoutskaia, E. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 354, 417-420 (2011). 3. Electrostatic force between a charged sphere and a planar surface: a general solution for dielectric materials. Khachatourian, A., Chan, H.-K., Stace, A. J. and Bichoutskaia, E. Journal of Chemical Physics 140, 074107 (2014). 4. Progress in the theory of electrostatic interactions between charged particles. Lindgren, E. B., Chan, H.-K., Stace, A. J. and Besley, E. Perspective Article, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 18, 5883-5895 (2016).
Start Year 2010
 
Description modelling carbon nanomaterials: Popov 
Organisation Russian Academy of Sciences
Department Institute of Spectroscopy
Country Russian Federation 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution multi-scale computational modelling of the behaviour, properties and manipulation of carbon nanomaterials
Collaborator Contribution atomistic modelling of carbon nanomaterials
Impact 1. Nanotube-based data storage devices. Bichoutskaia E., Popov A. M. and Lozovik Y. E. Insight Article for Materials Today 11, 38-43 (2008). 2. Modeling of an ultrahigh-frequency resonator based on the relative vibrations of carbon nanotubes. Bichoutskaia, E., Popov, A. M., Lozovik, Y. E., Ershova, O.V., Lebedeva, I. V. and Knizhnik, A. A. Physical Review B 80(16), 165427 (2009). 3. High frequency electromechanical memory cell based on telescoping carbon nanotubes. Popov, A. M., Lozovik, Y. E., Kulish, A. S. and Bichoutskaia, E. Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology 10(7), 4322-4328 (2010). 4. Stability and dynamics of vacancy in graphene flakes: edge effects. Santana, A., Popov, A. and Bichoutskaia, E. Chem. Phys. Lett. 557, 80-87 (2013). 5. Approaches to modelling irradiation-induced processes in transmission electron microscopy. Skowron, S. T., Lebedeva, I., Popov, A. and Bichoutskaia, E. Feature Article, Nanoscale 5, 6677-6692 (2013). 6. Formation of nickel-carbon heterofullerenes under electron irradiation. Sinitsa, A. S., Lebedeva, I. V., Knizhnik, A. A., Popov, A. M., Skowron, S. T. and Bichoutskaia, E. Dalton Transactions 43, 7499-7513 (2014). 7. Energetics of atomic scale structure changes in graphene. Skowron, S. T., Lebedeva, I. V., Popov, A. M., Bichoutskaia, E. Chemical Society Reviews 44, 3143-3176 (2015).
 
Description Nottingham Girls High School visits 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact In 2014, I took active part in a UCAS Conference at the Nottingham Girls High School, a higher
education event, which brings together universities and schools to guide prospective
students in their choice of university degree. These events play a vital part in helping
shape applicants' future directions in higher education. Throughout the Conference, I
have been leading discussions with year 12 school girls and their teachers on every
aspect of preparing university applications, taking science degrees in the UK
Universities and at the UoN, in particular.


A strong mentoring relationship with the Nottingham Girls High School has been established, leading to an invitation in October 2014 to undertake mock interviews with the girls wishing to apply for Oxford and Cambridge University.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014