Texas Tech Researchers Use Nanotechnology to Form Crystals
From diamonds used as jewelry, pharmaceuticals used to treat disease to silicon used
in our electronic devices, crystals impact our daily lives.
Growing crystals is often an expensive and time consuming task. Researchers at Texas
Tech Universities Whitacre College of Engineering (http://www.depts.ttu.edu/coe/)
have discovered a way to control crystallization of materials at the nanoscale. Dr.
Brandon Weeks is a professor of chemical engineering, and co-workers were able to use an atomic force microscope to induce crystallization
on surfaces. The research was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
"The most exciting aspect of this research is that we can form arrays of crystals
in arbitrary shapes' Weeks says. "Although our focus was on high explosives, the method
of crystallization works on a large variety of materials that you can form into arbitrary
shapes." Results from this novel research appear in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The research was funded through a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence.