Silver atom nanoclusters could become efficient biosensors

In a new study, Donatas Zigmantas and Erling Thyrhaug from NanoLund, together with researchers from the University of Copenhagen, have studied nanoclusters consisting of 20 silver atoms. For the first time, the researchers managed to measure the exact energy levels and identified that the ultrafast energy flow is linked to the structural changes that occur when light excites these nanoclusters. The process is indescribably fast. It happens in less than one millionth of a millionth of a second.

The results of the current study provide knowledge of the basic properties of the inner world of the noble metal nanocluster which, according to the researchers, in the long term will be useful in the development of products relating to both biosensors and microscopy. The results may also contribute to a more in-depth understanding of energy transfer mechanisms, involving movements of both the electrons and nuclei, which are essential for efficient ligh-capture by natural photosynthetic systems as well as solar cells.

Read the journal article "Ultrafast coherence transfer in DNA-templated silver nanoclusters" in Nature Communications doi:10.1038/ncomms15577 or find more information in the press release from Lund University (in Swedish or in English) or in the following online media: (in English).









Equipment used to study the silver nanoclusters. Photo: Marcelo Alcocer