Friday, December 3, 2010

This week in nanotechnology - December 3, 2010

IBM scientists this week unveiled a new chip technology - called CMOS Integrated Silicon Nanophotonics - that integrates electrical and optical devices on the same piece of silicon, enabling computer chips to communicate using pulses of light (instead of electrical signals), resulting in smaller, faster and more power-efficient chips than is possible with conventional technologies.

A group of Beckman Institute researchers have discovered a practical method for direct writing of metal lines less than five nanometers (5 nm) wide, a big step in creating contacts to and interconnects between nanoscale device structures like carbon nanotubes and graphene that have potential uses in electronics applications.

Researchers at Delft University of Technology and Oxford University announce a new type of nanopore device that could help in developing fast and cheap genetic analysis. They report on a novel method that combines man-made and biological materials to result in a tiny hole on a chip, which is able to measure and analyze single DNA molecules.
formation of hybrid pores by the directed insertion of the biological protein pore alpha hemolysin into solid-state nanopores

Artistic rendering of the formation of hybrid pores by the directed insertion of the biological protein pore alpha hemolysin (pink) into solid-state nanopores (holes in the green bottom layer). An applied electric field drives a double-stranded DNA molecule (blue, left) into the hole, which subsequently drags the pink hemolysin protein into position. Once assembled, these hybrid nanopores can be used to pull single-strand DNA (blue, center) through, for analysis and sequencing.

Emerging applications of carbon nanotubes: Researchers at MIT have published an overview of a variety of applications that are based on the unique properties of pristine as well as functionalized carbon nanotubes.
While the nanotechnology industry is expected to produce large quantities of nanoparticles in the near future, researchers have been worried about the environmental impact of the global nanotechnological revolution. Now, researchers found a method that could replace nearly all of the toxic chemicals required to make gold nanoparticles. The missing ingredient can be found in nearly every kitchen's spice cabinet - cinnamon.

A European consortium comprising National Physical Laboratory (NPL), ST Microelectronics, the University of Edinburgh, and TU Delft has been involved in the development and application of the Megaframe Imager - an ultrafast camera capable of recording images at the incredible rate of one million frames.

And finally for this week: free goodies! InTech, a multidisciplinary Open Access publisher of journals and books covering the fields of Science, Technology and Medicine, so far has published seven nanotechnology book titles that are available as free downloads.