Calif. – www.ucr.edu – Even
the smallest devices, assembled at the molecular
level, need motors and oscillators. UC Riverside
Mechanical Engineering Professor Qing
Jiang thinks bundling groups of carbon nanotubes together could make an
ultra-efficient and accurate nano-oscillator.
His findings were published in the in the May 14 issue of the Institute of Physics
journal, Nanotechnology, in a paper titled Nanotube
Oscillator Based on a Short Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Bundle, co-authored
with colleagues Jeon Won Kang, Ki Oh Song and Ho Jun Hwang from Chung-Ang University,
Seoul, South Korea.
In the rapidly developing field of nanotechnology – doing things at a scale 100,000
times narrower than a human hair – nanodevices are becoming an increasingly key
component in everything from drug delivery to improving or even replacing the
microprocessors in computers or optical switches in telecommunications networks.
“We're looking at the very fundamentals of machinery in the nanoscopic world
and what it takes to move the components of these machines, ultra-fast, super-efficient
and with extreme precision” Jiang said. “A nano-motor generating rotational motion,
a nano-oscillator (like a piston) generating linear motion forward and backward.
We're looking at how best to generate these motions in a nano-environment.”
Jiang's earlier work, done mostly with multi-walled carbon nanotube oscillators,
in which a narrow nanotube is encased in a larger nanotube, encountered two limitations – frequency
and friction. With increased frequency, beyond the benchmark one gigahertz (a
billion cycles per second), increased energy dissipation creates a lot of heat,
which reduces the efficiency of the tiny pistons.
His current work, with bundles of single-walled carbon nanotubes encased in an
additional layer of single-walled carbon nanotubes outperformed their multi-walled
counterparts and generated less heat and friction problems.
“We were very encouraged by the findings of this paper and think we may be on
our way to developing efficient oscillators,” Jiang said.
However, Jiang and his colleagues plan on exploring new substances that could
better address the friction and heat limitations that carbon nanotubes encounter.
- The Bourns
College of Engineering at UCR Additional
- Qing Jiang The
University of California, Riverside is a major
research institution. Key areas of research include
nanotechnology, health science, genomics, environmental
studies, digital arts and sustainable growth and
development. With a current undergraduate and graduate
enrollment of more than 16,600, the campus is projected
to grow to 21,000 students by 2010. Located in
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1,200-acre, park-like campus is at the center of
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