Researchers have announced the 1st ever method for controlling the growth of metal-crystals from single atom: process called “nanocrystallometry”.
It allows for the creation of precise components for use in nanotechnology.
>>Using a doped-graphene matrix to slow down and then trap atoms of the precious metal osmium they were able to control and quantify the growth of metal-crystals. When the trapped atoms come into contact with further osmium atoms they bind together, eventually growing into 3D metal-crystals.
“Until now the formation of metal nanocrystals, which are essential to those future materials, could not be controlled with precision at the level of individual atoms, under mild and accessible conditions.”
“We envision the use Nanocrystallometry to build precise, atomic-level electronic circuits and new nano-information storage devices. The method also has significant potential for use in the biosensing of drugs, DNA and gases as well for creating unique nano-patterns on surfaces for security labelling and sealing confidential documents. Nanocrystallometry is also an innovative method for producing new metal nano-alloys, and many combinations can be envisaged. They may have very unusual and as yet unexplored properties,” http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-05/uow-suf052714.php