It’s the Tyne-y Bridge!

Two major British landmarks now count among the world’s smallest objects

Scientists & engineers based at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne specialising in miniaturisation technology have recreated North East England’s Tyne Bridge and Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North sculpture so they are smaller than a pinhead and invisible to the naked eye.

The team used a combination of chemistry, physics and mechanical engineering techniques to create the tiny structures. Both are created out of silicon, the material used to make microchips. They are around 400 microns wide and their details can only be seen through a microscope.

The technology used to develop the bridge and the angel could be used to make miniaturised antennae for next-generation mobile phones. These so-called chip antennae will significantly reduce the power consumption and cost of production of mobile communication devices.

The fact that these structures can be made in silicon is an important feature as this allows the integration of moving mechanical parts and smart materials with standard components used in the microelectronics and semiconductor industries.

The scientists, who are based at INEX (Innovation in Nanotechnology Exploitation), the engineering & commercialisation arm of the Institute for Nanoscale Science & Technology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, undertook the project to showcase their expertise in an emerging technological field, micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS), in an interesting way.

The techniques are now being used by INEX to develop a number of applications on behalf of industry.

The applications range from accelerometer devices used in the automobile and medical markets; biosensors for rapid & cheap point-of-care diagnostics that are finding novel application in the healthcare sector; through to making grooves and channels 1/10th the width of a human hair to transfer picolitre (which is 0.0000000000001 litres) volumes of chemicals and biological materials for lab-on-a-chip applications that is enabling the generation of new and better drugs at a much faster pace than previously possible.

The business director of INEX, Richard Carter, said:

“Newcastle is already known for creating some of the UK’s largest structures – and now the region is building a global reputation for making some of the smallest.

“These are not just gimmicks. The work was performed as part of a technology development programme looking at new ways to make very small structures and devices.

“The North East is a UK leader for this type of advanced technology and we are working hard to make sure that we remain on top of the market, which should ultimately boost the region’s economy and create more jobs.”

Media Contact

Claire Jordan University of Newcastle

Alle Nachrichten aus der Kategorie: Process Engineering

This special field revolves around processes for modifying material properties (milling, cooling), composition (filtration, distillation) and type (oxidation, hydration).

Valuable information is available on a broad range of technologies including material separation, laser processes, measuring techniques and robot engineering in addition to testing methods and coating and materials analysis processes.

Zurück zur Startseite

Kommentare (0)

Schreib Kommentar

Neueste Beiträge

How Stable is the Antarctic Ice Sheet?

Scientists from Heidelberg University investigate which factors determine the stability of ice masses in East Antarctica. As temperatures rise due to climate change, the melting of polar ice sheets is…

Smart sensors for future fast charging batteries

European project “Spartacus” launched Faster charging, longer stability of performance not only for electric vehicles but also for smartphones and other battery powered products. What still sounds like science fiction…

Small molecules control bacterial resistance to antibiotics

Antibiotics have revolutionized medicine by providing effective treatments for infectious diseases such as cholera. But the pathogens that cause disease are increasingly developing resistance to the antibiotics that are most…

Partners

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close