2008 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show - Nanotech 2008 - 11th Annual

Partnering Events:

TechConnect Summit
Clean Technology 2008

Printing Diatoms

D.W. Wright, L. Deravi and J. Sumera
Vanderbilt University, US

diatoms, composites, ceramics

Biomineralization processes result in an expansive array of complex materials ranging from laminate composites and ceramics to single domain magnetic materials. An exemplar of such systems are the single cell diatoms that form diverse nanopatterned silica structures. In contrast to many current materials approaches to the synthesis of patterned silica, biogenic silica is formed rapidly under mild conditions mediated by a self-assembly of highly post-translationally modified peptide. In attempts to explore biomimetic approaches to metal oxide formation, we have investigated the use of amine-terminated dendrimers as monomolecular agents capable of mediating silica condensation. To achieve the spatial design exemplified by nature, we present our recent results on the development of a metal oxide forming dendrimer ink. Unfortunately, the optimal conditions for jettable inks are diametrically opposed to the physical properties of inks required for biomimetic activity. Optimal conditions will be presented for the printing of such inks with preservation of their chemical reactivity. Possible applications and versatility of these inks will also be discussed. The printing of the functional ink results in the creation of active arrays capable of condensing silica in intricate biomimetic patterns. Evidence for the functional activity of the printed arrays is presented using silica specific dyes which only localize to the regions in which ink has been deposited. Silica quantification experiments demonstrate a relationship between the printed area and the corresponding amounts of condensed silica.

Nanotech 2008 Conference Program Abstract