Millions of various types of nanobarcodes were developed to provide a "library" for upcoming nanoscale sensing applications.
A team led by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) created a method for growing nanocrystals that regulates the direction of growth and yields uniformly shaped nanorods with customizable barcodes and programmable atomic thin layers.
When incorporated into different matrices, such barcode structures will spark widespread interest in a variety of applications as information nanocarriers for bio-nanotechnology, life sciences, and data storage.
According to Lead author Dr. Shihui Wen, the study offers a benchmark that will enable the development of more tiny nanophotonics devices.
Nanoscopic barcodes may open up new possibilities
For geometrical barcoding beyond the optical diffraction limit, inorganic nanobarcode structures are stiff and easy to manipulate for composition, thickness, and distance accuracy between various functional segments.
Because they are chemically and optically stable, nanoscopic barcodes can be used as carriers for drug delivery and tracking into cells after their surfaces are further modified and functionalized with probe molecules and cargo.
When several batches of these devices are combined with inks for high-security anticounterfeiting, they may be easily printed on expensive goods for authentication.
In addition, the scientists also developed a unique, tandem decoding technique to characterize various optical barcodes under the diffraction limit using super-resolution nanoscopy.
"Imagine a tiny device, smaller than one-thousandth the width of a human hair, and we can selectively activate a particular region of that device, see the optical properties, quantify them. This is the science now showing many new possibilities," Senior author, UTS IBMD Director, Professor Dayong Jin said.