This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Gold nanoclusters could protect against destructive lasers

30 August 2012

A researcher has developed a new material using nanotechnology, which could help keep pilots and sensitive equipment safe from destructive lasers.

Jayan Thomas in his lab at UCF

University of Central Florida assistant professor Jayan Thomas is currently working with gold nanoparticles and studying their properties when they are shrunk into a small size regime called nanoclusters.

"Nanoclusters occupy the intriguing quantum size regime between atoms and nanocrystals, and the synthesis of ultra-small, atomically precise metal nanoclusters is a challenging task," Thomas said.

Thomas and his team found that nanoclusters developed by adding atoms in a sequential manner could provide interesting optical properties. Gold nanoclusters exhibit qualities that may make them suitable for creating surfaces that would diffuse high-energy laser beams.

Commercial and fighter pilots use sunglasses or helmet shields to protect their eyes from the sun's light. If these glasses or helmet shields can be coated with the nanoclusters that are being investigated at UCF, the shield could potentially diffuse high-energy lasers. Highly sensitive instruments needed for navigation and other applications could also be protected in case of an attack using high energy lasers.

Because nanoclusters appear to have a better ability to diffuse high beams of energy, they are a promising area for future development. There is still plenty of applications to be explored using these very interesting atomically engineered materials. Until now, much research has been focused on the larger nanocrystal.

Thomas is also exploring the use of these particles in the polymer material used for 3D telepresence to make it more sensitive to light. If successful, it can take the current polymers a step closer to developing real time 3D telepresence.

3D-Telepresence provides a holographic illusion to a viewer who is present in another location by giving that person a 360-degree view (in 3D) of everything that's going on around them. It's a step beyond 3D and is expected to revolutionise the way people see television and in how they participate in activities around the world, such as remotely guided surgery. 


This work is published in the July issue of the journal Nano Letters. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/nl301988v)


Print this page | E-mail this page