Single-electron transistor at IEDM

from the they-know-how-to-make-the-little-things-count dept.
GinaMiller pointed out an EE Times article on the upcoming International Electron Devices Meeting, Dec. 11-13 in San Francisco. "A team from Japan's NTT research laboratories has gone beyond the realm of single-transistor devices to build the first elemental circuit using single-electron transistors. The team fabricated the circuit using a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) process and a vertical pattern-dependent oxidation technique. When operating at 25 K, the circuit performed basic arithmetic calculations."

Microbot Arm Can Work On A Single Cell

from the not-even-the-rain-has-such-small-fingers dept.
Several folks told the tale (also reported on Slashdot) of a 670 µm microbot developed at Linköping U., Sweden. The published paper, in Science, is available online.

From the abstract: "This microrobotic arm can pick up, lift, move, and place micrometer-size objects within an area of about 250 micrometers by 100 micrometers, making the microrobot an excellent tool for single-cell manipulation." (The researchers do not claim the ability to manipulate single cells in vivo, however.)

Self-assembled Fullerene/Polymer Solar Cells

from the can-I-get-in-convenient-spray-can-form? dept.
JohnPierce writes "A EurekAlert! news release describes how Virginia Tech researchers from physics, chemistry, and chemical engineering are working with a local company to create self-assembled thin film solar cells. 'This photovoltaic device is created without the use of toxic solvents or expensive instruments and under ambient conditions.'"

Boeing Unveils Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle

from the no-pilot-and-the-bombardier-telecommutes dept.
Jay Dugger writes "This week's Aviation Week magazine describes an Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle developed for US Department of Defense." (You can also view Boeing's press release.) "While placing machines in harm's way instead of humans serves the public interest, a post-2010 deployment target makes me wonder whether such weapons designed now will prove competitive in that era. If not, how can modern military institutions adapt?" The article says, "Two or three [of the craft] could be directed by a single, stealthy, manned aircraft whose pilot would provide authority for weapons release at the end of the UCAV's largely autonomous flight."

Early nanomedicine: "nanodecoys" defeat viruses

from the if-we-don't-get-colds-are-we-still-human? dept.
From a HealthSCOUT report: Imagine being able to fight a virus even before infection occurs. Researchers say they've done just that (at least in a petri dish), preventing cells from becoming infected with the influenza virus…Their technique employs nanodecoys, super-small molecules that bind to viruses before they enter cells and cause disease. Invented by study co-author Donald Tomalia, scientific director of the University of Michigan's Center for Biologic Nanotechnology, nanodecoys are just a few billionths of a meter across…The decoys can multiply, producing different generations that are larger than their predecessors — meaning that a larger, later-generation decoy potentially could hold a larger drug molecule in its interior zone…[co-author Esfand] also speculates that nanodecoys could be used on mucosal surfaces, such as the nasal passages, or in air-mask filters to fight biological warfare agents.

Unique Properties for Silicon Nanowires

from the this-trick-is-done-with-wires dept.
GinaMiller alerted us to a Georgia Tech press release describing a study of the electronic properties of silicon nanowires. [Full article requires PRL subscription.] "Large-scale simulations of silicon nanowires just several atoms in diameter have given device designers new clues about how these nanometer-scale devices will one day perform. The work provides a basis for anticipating how the quantum mechanical effects that dominate behavior of materials at this size scale will alter the operation of future generations of electronic devices."

More about Nanotech Education

from the it-takes-smart-people-to-make-smart-matter dept.
Steve Lenhert writes "I am trying to find out how nanotechnology curriculum is actually going to be implemented in varous levels of education. From the US Nanotechnology Initiative, I've noticed that the first deliverable goal proposed is,

Begin augmented research and development in fundamental research, grand challenges, infrastructure, education and nanotechnology societal impacts in response to open competitive solicitations and regular program reviews

Steve is the Nanotechnology Guide at; one of the resources he maintains there is his guide to nanotechnology education.

Private Lunar Mission to Land Robots, Return Samples

from the Sony-Aibo-was-not-considered dept.
redbird pointed out a story about a privately-funded project to retrieve lunar samples with robots supplied by Los Alamos roboticist Mark Tilden. "[Applied Space Resources] plans to launch [the Lunar Retriever mission] into low Earth orbit and then moonward using former Soviet technologies," possibly including decommissioned tactical missiles.

Following the conclusion of the Retriever phase of the mission, Tilden wants to use his robots to clear a lunar beachhead of ultra-fine dust, which poses a threat to delicate machines. "By the time the mini-Sisyphi die four years after landing from prolonged exposure to gamma radiation, theyíll have cleared a figure eight-shaped, four million square yard (four square kilometer) area… Tilden hopes to follow those colonizers with cheap, wheeled kindred robots that assemble themselves in reconfigurable solar arrays. A final wave of compulsive wirers and cable-layers would then provide the plug for subsequent landers looking to juice up."

Tihamer Toth-Fejel on Abuse of Power

from the assemblers-actualizing-Acton's-axiom dept.
Jonathan Desp calls attention to a position paper by longtime Foresight friend Tihamer Toth-Fejel of the NSS's Molecular Manufacturing Shortcut Group, entitled "The Abuse of Power on the Eve of the Nanotechnology Revolution". From the paper's position statement: "Taking to heart Lord Acton's admonition that power tends to corrupt, we wish to take the necessary precautions so that humanity survives the coming revolution in molecular nanotechnology." The paper is hosted on Jonathan's Atomasoft site.

College majors for aspiring nanoengineers?

from the brother-could-use-paradigm dept.
bacteriophage writes "I have already read over "Studying Nanotechnology" by Eric Drexler, which is an excellent resource, but it may be slightly outdated. Even if this is not the case, is there anyone out there who knows of similar sites in terms of advocating certain courses of study in order to become a nanoengineer, or anyone who currently works in the field and would like to provide info on their own educational backgrounds, what they had to go through, etc.? Thank you very much."

This is a perennial topic. At the graduate level, more and more universities are hosting nanoscale research programs (though doctoral students participating in such research could emerge with Ph.D.'s in anything from materials science to computational chemistry). What is the current best practice in terms of undergraduate study?

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