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Home Industry News Fabricating nanostructures with silk ‘can offer green benefits’

Fabricating nanostructures with silk ‘can offer green benefits’

31st March 2014

Clean rooms used by scientists researchers could become more environmentally-friendly in future through a new method of generating nanostructures.

Scientists at Tufts University have found that it is possible to generate nanostructures from silk in a process that uses water as a developing agent in conjunction with standard fabrication techniques, offering various green benefits.

It allows engineers to avoid using the toxic materials commonly employed in nanofabrication, while delivering fabrication quality comparable to conventional synthetic polymers. It also means numerous delicate and costly handling and disposal processes can be circumvented.

Nanofabrication is used in the creation of semiconductors and other electronic and photonic devices. This new process is entirely water-based, starting with the silk aqueous solution and ending with simple development of the exposed silk film in water.

Senior researcher Dr Fiorenzo Omenetto, professor of biomedical engineering at Tufts University, said: "A variety of manufacturing industries, high-tech companies and academic labs could ultimately benefit from clean rooms that are also green."

Tufts has campuses in the US and France and employs more than 3,000 members of staff worldwide.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801708458-ADNFCR

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