Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Delft University of Technology makes world's smallest piano wire

27.11.2006
Researchers from Delft University of Technology and FOM Foundation have successfully made and 'tuned' the world's smallest piano wire.

The wires are made of carbon nanotubes that measure approximately 2 nanometers in diameter. The researchers have published an article on the subject this week in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

The researchers at the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience Delft and the FOM Foundation (Fundamental Research on Matter) made the small wires from carbon nanotubes, measuring approximately 1 micrometer long and approximately 2 nanometres in diameter. The tubes were attached to electrodes and initially placed above a layer of silicon oxide. This layer of silicon oxide was then partially etched away with acid, which caused the tubes to detach and hang.

A layer of silicon is contained beneath the silicon oxide. A strong and frequently variable alternating current is applied to this layer, which causes the hanging nanotubes to vibrate. The suspended tube is alternately attracted and repelled. The largest measured deviation for one tube was 8 nanometres. The distance of the nanotubes to the layer of silicon influences the electrical capacity to the layer of silicon. The movement of the nanowires is derived from these changes in capacity.

When the frequency of the applied current approaches the level of the suspended tube's eigenfrequency, it begins to vibrate more powerfully. The order of magnitude of these frequencies amounts to a few tens of MHz. By varying the strength and frequency of the applied current, the research group led by Professor Herre van der Zant succeeded in transposing the wire from a freely suspended state, to a state in which it is taut and vibrates. Van der Zant: "And as such it is like tightening a piano wire or guitar string. You can, as it were, tune the wire."

The Delft researchers have developed a model that can satisfactorily predict the vibrations of the nanotubes. The vibrating nanotubes are not only interesting from a scientific standpoint; in future they can also be used for other specific applications. Van der Zant identifies one possibility as a hypersensitive mass sensor. "The nanotubes are extremely lightweight. If you suspend something from the tube that is also extremely lightweight, like a virus, then the change in mass is rendered by a different vibration pattern. From this, you can determine the size of the extra mass and deduce if it involves the virus concerned." The vibrating tubes may also be of interest for GSM-related applications (which now use resonators that vibrate in the GHz-field.)

Frank Nuijens | alfa
Further information:
http://www.tudelft.nl
http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/nl062206p

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht New research identifies how 3-D printed metals can be both strong and ductile
11.12.2017 | University of Birmingham

nachricht Three kinds of information from a single X-ray measurement
11.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

PhoxTroT: Optical Interconnect Technologies Revolutionized Data Centers and HPC Systems

11.12.2017 | Information Technology

Large-scale battery storage system in field trial

11.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>