Spring-loaded nanotubes could be used in microcircuits

June 13, 2003 | Source: KurzweilAI

Multiwalled nanotubes can act like telescoping spring-loaded shock absorbers, opening the possibility of use in silicon circuits and optoelectronic devices, according to an article in Nature Materials Update, June 12, 2003.

In experiments at Vanderbilt University, it was found that if the inner tubes are partially pulled out and then released, they spring back inside their sheath, oscillating back and forth at a frequency of around 1 gigahertz until the motion is gradually damped by friction.

The fast oscillation speed might be used for nanoscale mechanical switching at a rate comparable to the signal-processing speeds of silicon circuits and optoelectronic devices.