Researchers produce nanowires easier, faster than before

Feb 08, 2008
Researchers produce nanowires easier, faster than before
A section of nanowire produced by Texas A&M mechanical engineering researchers postdoctoral researcher Subrata Kundu and associate professor Hong Liang. The electrically conducting nanowire is about 1/1,000 the width of a human hair and could be used in developing nanoscale electronic devices.

Sometimes simpler is better. Engineering researchers at Texas A&M University have developed a new way to produce ultra-thin electricity-conducting wire that is simpler and faster than existing processes.

"Other methods used to produce nanowires use high temperatures and high pressure," said Subrata Kundu, a post-doctoral researcher in the research group of Hong Liang, an associate professor in Texas A&M's Department of Mechanical Engineering. "This method is much simpler and faster."

Kundu and Liang described the process in an article in the current issue of the journal Advanced Materials.

The process developed by Kundu and Liang works by shining ultraviolet light on a mixture of strands of DNA, cadmium sulfate and thioacetamide for about six hours. UV light breaks thioacetamide to produce sulfide ions (S2-). Chemical changes produced by the UV light allow the cadmium sulfate molecules to bind to the DNA. The resulting nanowires — about 1,000 times thinner than a human hair — conduct electricity and could be used in the development of so-called nano-scale electronic devices like small chips to make tiny computer or medical devices.

Nano-scale devices range in size from the size of a molecule to about 100 nanometers. One meter is 1 billion nanometers long.

Liang and Kundu plan to continue research in this area using different metals — lead, zinc and molybdenum — to produce the nanowires. Kundu said working with the other metals will give the researchers important information about how the process works.

The UV process also allows nanowires to be built on DNA arranged in two or three dimensions, t-joints and cubes, for example. This opens the possibility of using the process to build entire nano-scale circuits.

Source: Texas A&M University

Explore further: Dye-sensitized solar cell absorbs a broad range of visible and infrared wavelengths

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A tree may have the answers to renewable energy

Jul 23, 2014

Through an energy conversion process that mimics that of a tree, a University of Wisconsin-Madison materials scientist is making strides in renewable energy technologies for producing hydrogen.

A crystal wedding in the nanocosmos

Jul 23, 2014

Researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), the Vienna University of Technology and the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University Lublin have succeeded in embedding nearly perfect semiconductor ...

Gold shapes up as new-age sensor

Jul 07, 2014

(Phys.org) —A wearable pressure sensor that is both highly sensitive and cheap to produce could aid the development of prosthetic skin, touch-on flexible displays and energy harvesting, as well as changing ...

NREL bolsters batteries with nanotubes

Jul 01, 2014

Researchers at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are turning to extremely tiny tubes and rods to boost power and durability in lithium-ion batteries, the energy sources for ...

Scientists explore mash-up of vacuum tube and MOSFET

Jun 25, 2014

Thumb-size vacuum tubes that amplified signals in radio and television sets in the first half of the 20th century might seem nothing like the metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) that ...

Recommended for you

A new way to make microstructured surfaces

16 hours ago

A team of researchers has created a new way of manufacturing microstructured surfaces that have novel three-dimensional textures. These surfaces, made by self-assembly of carbon nanotubes, could exhibit a ...

Tough foam from tiny sheets

Jul 29, 2014

Tough, ultralight foam of atom-thick sheets can be made to any size and shape through a chemical process invented at Rice University.

Graphene surfaces on photonic racetracks

Jul 28, 2014

In an article published in Optics Express, scientists from The University of Manchester describe how graphene can be wrapped around a silicon wire, or waveguide, and modify the transmission of light through it.

User comments : 0