Tag Archives | Nanotechnology

Researchers Create Subatomic Digital Switch

Researchers at Berkeley’s NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center have successfully used plasmons, a subatomic particle, to create a digital switch. “I’m personally optimistic we’ll see chips like this in ten to twenty years,” says Dr. Thomas Zentgraf, who also notes that light photons don’t collide with each other and “they don’t react with other materials” — so they’ll dissipate less heat and allow much smaller chips and devices. “You can’t move electrons any faster, but photons are constantly going at the speed of light,” says the researcher.

As this article suggests Moore’s law now “starts to look more like a temporary statute,” and light “also has the advantage of being the fastest thing in the universe.”

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Nanotech Breakthrough: Nanotube Woven Into Commercially-Viable Yarn

Here’s a cool photograph of “the first macroscopic, commercially usable boron nitride nanotubes”, spun into a piece of BNNT “yarn”.

Visible to the naked eye, these nanotubes are now long enough to be woven into fibers, “and thus capable of being used for a vast number of commercial applications.” While it’s small in size, it’s being hailed as a significant sign of “the coming of the one technology that can definitively (in theory) bring about abundance…within a decade or less from the time when we get a complete grasp on its use as a production technology.”

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Military Funds Tiny Flying “Spy Hummingbird”

“It looks like a hummingbird!” But it’s an unmanned military aerial vehicle with a 5-inch wingspan for which DARPA is providing a second round of funding!

The ‘spy hummingbird’ weighs just 10 grams (about the weight of two nickels) and can perform “controlled hovering flight” using only an on-board power source and flapping its two wings…

This article appeared in the latest edition of H+ magazine.

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Could Nanotech Create Paper-Thin Solar Cells?‏

Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Labs have “found a simple and yet powerful way to induce nanoparticles to assemble themselves into complex arrays,” and are now working on paper-thin printable solar cells!

Led by Ting Xu (one of Popular Science’s “Brilliant 10″ young researchers), their technique also “promises to revolutionize the data storage industry, eventually leading to the contents of hundreds of DVDs fitting into a space the size of a thumbnail,” and could also create ultra-small electronic devices.

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