Sticky Nanoparticles

A recent paper by MSI Associate Fellow Professor Traian Dumitrica and his graduate student Mayur Suri has received national attention. The paper publishes the results of computer simulations, performed at MSI, of nanoparticles crashing into a surface at hypersonic speeds. The paper was published in the August issue of Physical Review B (Phys Rev B, 78, 081405).

Above speeds of 3,300 miles per hour, nanoparticles stick to the surface instead of bouncing. The computer simulations helped the researchers explain the sticking phenomenon. Summaries of the paper have appeared in Physical Review Focus ("Nanoparticles Stick a Perfect Landing," M. Schirber, August 27, 2008) and the New York Times ("If Traveling Very Fast, the Very Small Just Stick," K. Chang, September 2, 2008). The PR Focus article also includes information from Professor Dumitrica's collaborator, MSI Fellow Professor Steven Girshick.