Scientists have created the world’s most complex microparticle. The discovery will make it possible to create more stable mixtures of liquids, such as paints, as well as otherwise twist light to obtain holographic projections of higher quality. This is stated in a study by scientists from the University of Michigan, published in the journal Science.
In the process of evolution, the shape of the molecules has become increasingly complicated – this is how the most complex of them appeared, which include, for example, plant pollen, immune cells and some viruses.
The most complex natural particles include spiky coccolithophores. This type of algae with a diameter of several microns is known for creating intricate limestone shells around itself. To better understand the rules that determine how such particles grow and how their shape is formed, scientists have been trying to recreate them in the laboratory for many years. However, such experiments so far have not led to any serious results, primarily because the researchers could not find a way to measure the complexity of the resulting molecule.
In a new work, researchers found that one of the key signs of particle complexity is chirality – in this context, this is a tendency to twist its structures clockwise or counterclockwise.
As evidence of their hypothesis, the researchers, guided by the principle of chirality, coated nanosized sheets of gold sulfide with an amino acid called cysteine.
The result of the experiment was a particle whose structure, according to scientists, is even more complicated than that of peaked coccolithophores. In other words, they managed to create the most complex particle known to science.