Giant Surfactants

July 29th, 2013 by

Researchers at a university in Ohio have developed materials that function on a nanoscale, which could lead to the creation of lighter laptops, slimmer televisions and crisper smartphone visual displays.  Known as “giant surfactants”, or surface films and liquid solutions, the researchers used a technique known as nanopatterning to combine functioning molecular nanoparticles with polymers.  During their self-assembly, molecules form an organized lithographic pattern on semiconductor crystals, for use as integrated circuits.  These self-assembling materials differ from common block copolymers because they organize themselves in a controllable manner at the molecular level.  The giant surfactants, similar to macromolecules, function like molecular surfactants on a nanoscale.  The outcome are nanostructures that guide the size of electronic products.  When integrated into electronics, the new materials will enable the development of ultra-lightweight, compact and efficient devices because of their unique structures.