Nanoscale Energy Deposition by X-ray Absorbing Nanostructures
journal contributionposted on 11.10.2007, 00:00 by Joshua D. Carter, Neal N. Cheng, Yongquan Qu, George D. Suarez, Ting Guo
Here we wish to demonstrate a unique property of nanomaterials: energy deposition with nanometer precision from low-energy electrons released from these nanostructures interacting with hard X-ray radiation in aqueous solution. Three effects combine to cause this phenomenon: (1) localized absorption of X-rays by nanostructures, (2) effective release of low-energy electrons from small nanostructures, and (3) efficient deposition of energy in water in the form of radicals and electrons. This combination creates localized X-ray absorption and localized energy deposition of nanometer precision. We confirmed the theoretically predicted nanoscale energy deposition distribution by measuring hydroxyl radical-induced DNA strand breaks, and observed enhanced damage to a 5600-bp DNA molecule from approximately 10 chemically conjugated small gold nanoparticles under X-ray radiation. These results provide a general guidance to applications of this new concept in many fields including radiation chemistry, radiology, radiation oncology, biochemistry, biology, and nanotechnology.