Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Playing Pinball With Atoms: How To Turn Nanotech Devices On And Off

Date:
October 14, 2008
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
With nanotechnology yielding a burgeoning menagerie of microscopic pumps, motors, and other machines for potential use in medicine and industry, here is one good question: How will humans turn those devices on and off?

Scientists are reporting construction and testing of a nanotech device that responds to on-off stimuli and resembles flippers on a pinball machine.
Credit: Harold J. W. Zandvliet

With nanotechnology yielding a burgeoning menagerie of microscopic pumps, motors, and other machines for potential use in medicine and industry, here is one good question: How will humans turn those devices on and off?

In an advance toward giving humans that control, scientists in The Netherlands are reporting use of an external electrical signal to control an atomic-scale mechanical device that looks like the flippers on a pinball machine.

Their report is scheduled for the Oct. 8 issue of ACS' monthly journal Nano Letters.

In the study, Harold J. W. Zandvliet and colleagues point out that efforts to build ever-smaller mechanical devices have made scientists recognize the difficulty of exerting control over these nanomachines, which are too tiny for any conventional on-off-switch. They describe construction and successful testing of a device, "grown" on a wafer of germanium crystal, that responds to on-off stimuli.

Researchers say the device — so tiny that billions would fit on the head of a pin — resembles the arms or flippers on a pinball machine. The signals for the arms to move back and forth come from the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope.

"By precisely controlling the tip current and distance, we make two atom pairs behave like the flippers on an atomic-sized pinball machine," they state. "Our observations prove unambiguously that it is possible to control an atomic scale mechanical device using a simple electrical signal. A better understanding of similar devices can shed light on the future possibilities and opportunities for the application of atomic-scale devices."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Saedi et al. Playing Pinball with Atoms. Nano Letters, 2008; DOI: 10.1021/nl8022884

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Playing Pinball With Atoms: How To Turn Nanotech Devices On And Off." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081006170627.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2008, October 14). Playing Pinball With Atoms: How To Turn Nanotech Devices On And Off. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081006170627.htm
American Chemical Society. "Playing Pinball With Atoms: How To Turn Nanotech Devices On And Off." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081006170627.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Tesla, Panasonic Ink Deal To Make Huge Battery 'Gigafactory'

Tesla, Panasonic Ink Deal To Make Huge Battery 'Gigafactory'

Newsy (July 31, 2014) The deal will help build a massive battery factory that Tesla says will produce 500,000 lithium batteries by 2020. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 30, 2014) Fresh breath and clean teeth are great, but have you ever thought, "my toothpaste could be doing more". Well, it can! Lots of things! Howdini has 7 new uses for this household staple. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smoked: 2015 Ducati Diavel Vs 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Drag Race

Smoked: 2015 Ducati Diavel Vs 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Drag Race

Cycle World (July 30, 2014) The Bonnier Motorcycle Group presents Smoked; a three part video series. In this episode the 2015 Ducati Diavel takes on the 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Video provided by Cycle World
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins