A nanospring hangs from the tip of an atomic force microscope. The spring measures 20 nanometers wide and about 1 micrometer in length.
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and NASA suggest that materials on the nanoscale may sometimes be subject to the same physical rules as their macro-world counterparts. The findings provide an exception to the conventional scientific notion that objects small enough to be measured in nanometers (one-billionth of a meter) behave according to different rules than larger objects.
A team led by Lawrence Bottomley in Georgia Tech’s School of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Jonathon Colton in the School of Mechanical Engineering found that the mechanical response of a multi-walled carbon nanospring was remarkably similar to the rules that govern the mechanical properties of springs on the macro scale. The results are published in the American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters, Volume 4, Number 6.
“Small may not necessarily be different when it comes to the mechanical properties of springs,” said Bottomley. The findings suggest there may be other nano materials that behave in ways similar to their macroscale counterparts.
David Terraso | EurekAlert!
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