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Lecture V

Carbon Nanotubes
Carbon nanotubes are a tubular form of carbon with diameter as small as 1 nm and length
ranging from a few nm to microns. Its configuration is similar to 2D graphene sheets rolled in a
tube.
There are two types of carbon nanotubes1. Single wall nanotubes(SWNT)
They are made up of a single rolled graphene layer. It is difficult to synthesize in pur, defect-free
form. It accumulates less in the body, hence it's used for biomedical purposes.
2. Multi wall Nanotubes(MWNT)
They are made of a bunch of graphene layers rolled together. Bulk synthesis is easy and high
purity is attained. It has more accumulation in the body. CNTs have unique properties which
make it useful for a spectrum of applications. Its strength to weight ratio is ~500 times that of
Aluminium, steel and titatnium. It is as hard as diamond and its electrical conductivity is ~1000
times that of copper. Besides, its thermally stable up to 4000K.
Nanocomposites can be used for dam and bridge construction in place of steel. Its light
weightiness can be exploited for making aircrafts and satellites. It can even be used as
interconnect transistors (CMOS industry, Nanowires)
Certain limitations exist to its usage.
1. Its difficult to produce CNTs in bulk, maintaining homogeneity and purity.
2. Its scarcely soluble in water.
To deal with the solubility issue, fictionalization i.e. modification of surface of CNT by
absorption, electrostatic interaction or covalent bonding of a functional group. These functional
groups (like amides, fluorine) render the CNTs more hydrophilic. Fictionalization enhances its
biocompatibility and prevents aggregation of CNTs.
Application- Its small size can be exploited to make biosensors. Probe molecule can be attached
to the tip of CNTs. Target molecules will bind to the probe and produce a unique signal. CNTs
are used because they are scale close to molecules. This increases the signal to noise ratio and
renders high sensitivity to even small amount of target molecules.
Fabrication of gene chip can be done wherein ~30 sensor dyes are immobilized on a 4" silicon
wafer. This arrangement can be used for cancer detection, environmental monitoring and
pathogen detection.

Quantum Dots
A crystalline nanoparticle made of semiconductor material, small enough to show quantum
mechanical properties. The excitons (excited electrons and electron holes) of a quantum dot are
confined in all three spatial dimensions. Also, the electronic properties are intermediary of bulk
semiconductor and discrete molecules. They are closely related to their shape and size, the size
and band gap being inversely proportional.
They are made from a range of materials, most common being zinc sulphide, lead sulphide,
cadmium selenide and indium phosphide. Since, many applications of quantum dots see them

being useed in human


n body, toxiccity is a factor that needds to be tackkled. For this reason maany a
times a protective
p
po
olymer is useed as a coatin
ng material.
Working
g is based on
o the samee principle involved
i
in fluorescencce. Light is absorbed bby an
electron, it goes to a higher excitted state. Wh
hen it comess to its stablee state, it em
mits the addittional
n form of light corresponding to a particular
ar frequencyy. In case oof quantum dots,
energy in
ultravioleet light is used
u
to stim
mulate the electron
e
from
m its grounnd state in the crystal.. The
frequency
y or colour of light heere is depen
ndent on sizze rather thaan material used for maaking
quantum dot.

Applica
ation
Quantum
m dots find application in detectio
on of toxinss and pathoogens, and iin defining their
characterristics, including virulen
nce. Several pathogens ttargeted so ffar include, Cryptosporiidium
parvum and Giardiaa lamblia, Escherichia
E
coli 0157:H
H7 and Salm
monella Tyyphi and Listeria
monocytogenes.
1D
Dual-color im
mage of QD
D 605-labeleed C.
paarvum (redd) and Q
QD 565-labbeled
G. lamblia(greeen)(Resourcce:Zhu L eet al.
Ennviron Microobiol 2004;770:5978)
In the figure shown abovve, the signnal to
nooise ratio was 17, and was more
phhotostable annd bright whhen comparred to
coommercial staining kits.