Researchers Fill Tobacco Virus With Metal - New Technology

Researchers from the University of Bristol, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Maryland have found a way to make shaped metal structures on a nanoscale by coating other tiny items. In this case they have coated 4- by 60-nanometer tobacco virus with gold, silver and platinum salts.

They found that in an acidic solution, negatively-charged metal salts react with viral amino acids causing nanoparticles to align on the outer surface of the virus. When the pH of the solution is neutral, positively-charged salts pass through the protein coats of the virus and metal nanoparticles to align inside the viruses.

The process could be used in future to create metal nanowires.

Posted 12th March 2003

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