The letters are about 100 nanometers in size. That’s roughly a billion times smaller than the block Y on the mountain overlooking BYU’s campus and 1/1000 the width of a human hair.
The team’s larger pursuit is to design nanoscale shapes for electrical circuitry and make tiny – yet inexpensive – computer chips. For more on that endeavor read this story.
DNA origami came on the scene a few years ago when a computer scientist at Caltech wove strands of DNA into smiley faces and other shapes. But until now scientists had to hunt for viruses and microbes whose DNA strands were the right length for the particular task. That’s like building a log cabin without a saw: Instead of cutting the trees down to size, you have to size your cabin to the trees available.
The BYU researchers instead replicate DNA to make strands precisely as long or as short as they need.
BYU chemistry professor Adam Woolley authored the paper with three of his students, Elisabeth Pound, Jeffrey Ashton and Hector Becerril. Ashton is an undergraduate.
“I was blown away when the students were able to make B’s,” Woolley said. “Right angle shapes, that’s one thing. But to make something with curves and multiple intersections, I thought ‘Wow, that is really cool.’”
The work is funded by a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to advance the field of nanoelectronics.
“This very quickly went from the initial design of a simple rectangle shape to more sophisticated branching,” Woolley said. “It’s a testament to the quality of graduate students and undergraduates we have here in our department and at BYU in general.”
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Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
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By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
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