The peculiarities of materials at the nanoscale demand an interdisciplinary approach which can be difficult for students and researchers who are trained predominantly in a single field. A chemist might not have experience at working with cell cultures or a physicist may have no idea how to make the gold colloid they need for calibrating an atomic force microscope. The interdisciplinary approach of the book will help you to quickly synthesize information from multiple perspectives.
Nanoscience research is also characterized by rapid movement within disciplines. The amount of time it takes wading through papers and chasing down academics is frustrating and wasteful and our reviewers seem to suggest this work would give an excellent starting point for their work. The current source of published data is either in journal articles, which requires highly advanced knowledge of background information, or books on the subject, which can skim over the essential details of preparations. Having a cookbook to hand to flick through and from which you may select a preparation acts as a good source of contact both to researchers and those who supervise them alike.
This book therefore supports fundamental nanoscience experimentation. It is by intention much more user-friendly than traditional published works, which too-frequently assumes state of the art knowledge. Moreover you can pick up this book and find a synthesis to suit your needs without digging through specialist papers or tracking someone down who eventually may or may not be able to help. Once you have used the recipe the book would then act as a reference guide for how to analyze these materials and what to look out for.
Introduction - An explanation of how to use the book and a brief overview of the areas that will be covered and how they apply to active science today. Sections will be colour coded to make it easy to navigate through the book. Colour coding will also show where the respective disciplines overlap.
Safety (Red): This chapter provides a list of common laboratory hazards and how to handle them. This will include a template COSH form, hazard code listings and signs. Solvent safety charts with boiling points, flashpoints and a miscibility comparison chart. Handling spills, solvent and solid waste. Biohazard safety to level II lab standards and the disposal of biological waste. Special safety considerations for nanomaterials. Laser safety procedures.
Techniques (Blue): A range of sample preparation methods will be presented for electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, IR, UV-visible and X-ray spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and dynamic light scattering. Interpretation of biological assays and cell examination. Tables and charts will be included to aid the reader in data interpretation along with basic theory of the techniques. This chapter will be an overview to the in depth analysis for samples provided with each recipe.
Physics (Green): Liquid Crystals. Nanoindentation using an atomic force microscope. How to make a Chemical vapor deposition and replication of template substrates. Making simple MEMS - Deposition of thin metal layers and chemical etching. Electrodeposition on various substrates. Making a circuit board. Making photonic crystals from opal templates and from polymers. Making single walled and multiple walled carbon nanotubes. Making graphene and graphene oxide and what to do with them. Making a thin layer light emitting device. Electrospinning fibres from various polymers. Making a solar cell. Thin sectioning and patterning using ion beam milling. Photoetching on various substrates, Some useful electronic circuits and how to use an oscilloscope. PDMS stamping for replication and making lab on a chip devices.
Chemistry (Yellow): Making colloids - Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (including rods and monoliths), cadmium selenide nanoparticles and rods, gold and other metals as nanoparticles and rods. Stabilizing agents you can use and some methods for functionalizing them to target receptors or simply to give them a charge. Making magnetic colloids and ferrofluids. Making core-shell colloidal nanoparticles, ceramic/ceramic and metal/ceramic recipes. Biotemplating - virus and polysaccharide templates for the formation of metal or ceramic duplicates. Sol-gel chemistry for the formation of porous monoliths using surfactants. Using sol-gel chemistry as an inorganic immobilization or encapsulating agent. The production of thin films of polymers and ceramics. The formation of a metal-organic framework (MOF).
Biology (Purple): Preparing a glycerol stock. Making an agar plate. Keeping a bacterial cell culture. Keeping a mammalian cell culture. Performing gel electrophoresis, How to extract and purify DNA. Bioengineering - getting useful plasmids into bacteria. Extracting and isolating a protein. Membrane and vesicle formation from lipids. Common cell assays and how to run them - including LDH and COMET assays. Testing an antibiotic on gram positive and gram negative bacteria. How to isolate large protein materials such as silk and collagen. Cell staining with fluorescent dyes and how to use nanoparticles as biomarkers for microscopy.
Dr. Andrew Collins, School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, England