'Super-nano' plastic fibres touted for next-generation IT

Apr 22, 2012
This picture taken in 2011 in Les Mees, southern France shows solar panels. Materials scientists in France said on Sunday they had made highly-conductive plastic wires on the nanoscale, an invention with potential for mobile devices, computing and solar energy.

Materials scientists in France said on Sunday they had made highly-conductive plastic wires on the nanoscale, an invention with potential for mobile devices, computing and solar energy.

Just a few billionths of a metre across, the fibres are light, inexpensive, flexible and easy to handle, in contrast to carbon nanotubes, the team said in the journal Nature Chemistry.

The wires are derivatives of man-made molecules called triarylamines that have been used for decades in photocopiers.

In their study, the scientists say they were surprised to find that the wires "self-assemble" spontaneously in response to a flash of light, and are nearly as conductive as copper.

In a bench-test experiment, the tiny materials formed a bridge between two electrodes that were spaced 100 nanometres (100 billionths of a metre) apart.

"The researchers now hope to demonstrate that their fibres can be used industrially in miniaturised electronic devices such as flexible screens, solar cells, transistors (and) printed nanocircuits," the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) said in a press release.

Explore further: Researchers make major advances in dye sensitized solar cells

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New "Molecular Wires" Nanotechnology to Replace Silicon

Aug 23, 2004

Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and the University of Florida have uncovered information that may help "molecular wires" replace silicon in micro-electronic circuits and/or co ...

NDSU nano research could impact flexible electronic devices

Feb 13, 2012

A discovery by a research team at NDSU and the National Institute of Standards and Technology shows the flexibility and durability of carbon nanotube films and coatings are intimately linked to their electronic properties. ...

An advance toward ultra-portable electronic devices

Jul 20, 2011

Scientists are reporting a key advance toward the long-awaited era of "single-molecule electronics," when common electronic circuits in computers, smart phones, audio players, and other devices may shrink ...

Recommended for you

Nanomaterial outsmarts ions

Apr 22, 2014

Ions are an essential tool in chip manufacturing, but these electrically charged atoms can also be used to produce nano-sieves with homogeneously distributed pores. A particularly large number of electrons, ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Research proves nanobubbles are superstable

The intense research interest in surface nanobubbles arises from their potential applications in microfluidics and the scientific challenge for controlling their fundamental physical properties. One of the ...

New breast cancer imaging method promising

The new PAMmography method for imaging breast cancer developed by the University of Twente's MIRA research institute and the Medisch Spectrum Twente hospital appears to be a promising new method that could ...

Using antineutrinos to monitor nuclear reactors

When monitoring nuclear reactors, the International Atomic Energy Agency has to rely on input given by the operators. In the future, antineutrino detectors may provide an additional option for monitoring. ...