1 Tahrcountry Musings: Gecko inspired microelectronics

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Gecko inspired microelectronics

The Gecko sticks to the smooth of surfaces via strong van der Waals force between its millions of hairs. This has inspired researchers at Rice University to come up with a way to transfer forests of strongly aligned, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) from one surface to any other surface in a matter of minutes.
 The template used to grow the nanotubes, with its catalyst particles still intact, can be used repeatedly to grow more nanotubes. Researcher Cary Pint says it is akin to inking a rubber stamp. Researchers hope to develop sensors, highly efficient solar panels and electronic components with the new technique. This could be scaled up easily, for embedding nanotube circuitry into electronic devices.
 Details of the research appear in the online version of the journal ACS Nano. 
# Van der Waals' forces are forces that exist between molecules of the same substance and are quite different from the forces that make up the molecule. The forces are named after the Dutch physicist Johannes van der Waals.

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