The role of spiral pasta in nanoscale electronics

Spiral-shaped components could yield new switching and memory storage devices

Tiny, spiral-shaped carbon tubes and fibres could give way to new kinds of components for nanoscale electronics, say researchers who are studying what has been dubbed "nanoscale spiral pasta" in the hope of developing nanoscale switching and memory storage devices.

The spiral components are expected to some day outperform conventional silicon technologies on a number of levels, such as power consumption, radiation hardness, and heat dissipation.

According to Prab Bandaru, who has recently been awarded a five-year, $US400,000 National Science Fondation grant for his work on non-linear nanotubes, the spiral form could facilitate the creation of nanoscale inductors, which are very difficult to fabricate using conventional structures.

"Spiral nanotubes and nanocoils could be pertinent for new types of electronic architecture," said Bandaru, an Assistant Professor of Material Science at the University of California, San Diego.

"For example, it was suggested that a coil could correspond to a sequence of junctions with alternating metallic and semiconducting character, adding to the possibility of novel behaviour in nonlinear nanostructures."

Bandaru and his colleagues are currently investigating nanotube growth mechanisms, defects, nanoscale electrical conduction mechanisms and device modelling. They are also exploring both the layout of electrical and optoelectronic circuits, and the limits of device operation through high frequency measurements.

"Because nanotubes are so small, you need to work at the atomic level to understand and manipulate them," said Bandaru, explaining that the presence or absence of single carbon atoms at strategic locations within nanotubes determines whether they have a linear or spiral shape.

While he hopes to soon see real world applications for spiral nanoelectronics, Bandaru noted that there are still some difficulties in fabricating and arranging spiral nanoscale components, which he said would be necessary for making commercial electronics devices.

"The biggest hurdle is with the controlled, large scale assembly of nanotube-based structures," he said. "However, a lot of smart people are working on this."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Liz Tay

PC World

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?