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: Mirror-image forms of corannulene molecules could lead to exciting new possibilities in nanotechnology

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Bacterial nanowires: Not what we thought they were

Aug 18, 2014

For the past 10 years, scientists have been fascinated by a type of "electric bacteria" that shoots out long tendrils like electric wires, using them to power themselves and transfer electricity to a variety ...

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

Tiny graphene drum could form future quantum memory

Aug 28, 2014

Scientists from TU Delft's Kavli Institute of Nanoscience have demonstrated that they can detect extremely small changes in position and forces on very small drums of graphene. Graphene drums have great potential ...

Graphene reinvents the future

Aug 27, 2014

For many scientists, the discovery of one-atom-thick sheets of graphene is hugely significant, something with the potential to affect just about every aspect of human activity and endeavour.

User comments : 0