Monday, 4 March 2013

5 Awesome Technologies Brought from LB Films

Langmuir, Schaefer and Vonneguit Making Clouds, Time 1950
inspired the novel The Cat's Cradle by the latter's brother

People started their understanding of films since Pliny the great.  In a scientific format the film's understanding is largely in descenting order Benjamin Franklin, Agnes Pockels with Lord Raleigh, Padday & DuNuöy and then finally Langmuir & Blodgett.  The latter construction of the instruments are the design that many of today's instrument's are based.  Several people who have worked with Langmuir Blodgett Films have also won Nobel prizes with Lord Raleigh (not for thin films) in 1904 and Langmuir winning the elusive price in 1938.  Langmuir is presented above in Time for being one of three to discover fake snow.

The prize is intended to be for people that can make a great contribution to science for the future.  Scientists are always standing on the shoulders of other scientists.  However, likely when Langmuir developed this technique he did not know what people might use it for in the future.

Here are awesome technologies that are brought to you from working with Langmuir films:

1) LB films can be used as passive layers in MIS (metal-insulator-semiconductor) which have more open structure than silicon oxide and they allow gases to penetrate to the interface more easily and have obvious effects.  This is the case for Zinc Oxide.  
Example: Enhanced Photoluminescence of ZnO Langmuir–Blodgett Films on Gold-Coated Substrates by Plasmonic Coupling 
They use a Kibron Microtrough to make the films.

2) LB films also can be used as biological membranesLipid molecules with the fatty and polar regions have received extended attention because of being adequately suited to the Langmuir method. This kind of biological membranes can be investigated in the mode of drug action or potentially toxins to understand the chemistry of biologically active molecules, and helps develop an overall model for the biological system.

Example: A Lipid-Specific Toxin Reveals Heterogeneity of Sphingomyelin-Containing Membranes
They  use the Delta-Pi to understand that the specific toxin, Lynenin, binds at the air water interface.

This toxin is penetrating the surface

B. Also, it is possible to propose field effect devise for observing the immunological responseenzyme-substrate reactions and binding of virus particles to the membrane by collecting biological molecules such as antibodies and enzymes and putting them onto films insulating LB films.
Example:Identification of a Common Sphingolipid-binding Domain in Alzheimer, Prion, and HIV-1 Proteins
They use the Kibron Microtrough to observe the peptide's penetration at different surface pressure.
Better drugs for Alzheimer's and HIV.  For sure!

3. Application to glass and make antireflecting but at the same time allowing 99% of visible light to pass through.

Example: The guys from AMOLF and Max-Planck Institute for Polymer Research are developing new molecular techniques to make things like antireflective coatings.  This is presented in the long titled paper:
Comparative Study of Direct and Phase-Specific Vibrational Sum-Frequency Generation Spectroscopy: Advantages and Limitations.  Here they use the Kibron Microtrough.  This has everything do with your compact disks and technology in general.

4. Biosensors like the glucose biosensor – use of poly(3-hexyl thiopene) as Langmuir–Blodgett film, which entraps glucose-oxide and transfers it to a coated indium-tin-oxide glass plate.  Other biosensor for making better diagnostics are also developed using the Langmuir films.
Example:Langmuir and Langmuir−Blodgett Films of Organophosphorus Acid Anhydrolase

5. Langmuir–Blodgett films are inherently 2D-structures and can be built up, layer by layer, by dipping hydrophobic or hydrophilic substrates into a liquid subphase.  Langmuir–Blodgett patterning is a new paradigm for large-area patterning with mesostructured features.  Using this technique for developing new materials like graphene would benefit the world.   

Example: Poly(lactic acid)/Graphene Nanocomposites Prepared via Solution Blending Using Chloroform as a Mutual Solvent.
A better lighter fuel efficient rocket perhaps....

So if you buy a Langmuir-Blodgett instrument or a Langmuir Film instrument from a manufacturer like Kibron you can try to unravel a lot of the world's puzzles at the tip of your fingers or likely on the surface of the subphase.
Kibron Delta-Pi 4 for Penetration Studies

Kibron Microtrough for Compressible Films

1 comment:

  1. Good article. I am dealing with some of these issues as well..

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