|Wednesday, September 13, 2000
Alexander Wei and other researchers at Purdue University are
studying materials that measure approximately one-billionth of a meter.
Why? They are helping develop new materials for microelectronic devices
and magnetic sensors. They found that at such a small scale, particles are
so fragile and unstable that, if they touch, they fuse together, thereby
changing to physical and magnetic properties.
"Physical properties of materials are dependent on size,"
says Wei. He and his colleagues at Purdue University found a way of
putting a protective coating around nanoparticles, preventing them from
fusing with other particles.
"The new coating process allows us to stabilize the
particles with magnetic properties, enabling the development of new
materials for microelectronic devices and magnetic sensors. If we can
manipulate particles at this level, perhaps we can increase storage
capacity in computer memory devices," he says.
Wei indicated that potential applications include
biomedicine, such as drug delivery systems of probes and sensors designed
to target specific cells or tissues. Nanoparticles are part of a larger
scientific effort called nanotechnology aimed at developing new
technologies at the molecular level. For more information, contact Wei at
(765) 494-5257 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.