from the One-dimensional-nanotechnology dept.
SaturnFX calls our attention to an interesting Georgia Tech press release on Science Daily. According to the release, researchers at the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology have created a new class of nanometer-scale structure that could be the basis for inexpensive ultra-small sensors, flat-panel display components and other electronic nanodevices. The researchers claim these extremely thin and flat structures — made of semiconducting metal oxides and dubbed "nanobelts" — offer significant advantages over the nanowires and carbon nanotubes.
The ribbon-like nanobelts are chemically pure, structurally uniform and largely defect-free, with clean surfaces not requiring protection against oxidation. Each is made up of a single crystal with specific surface planes and shape. Typical width of the nanobelts is from 30 to 300 nanometers, with a thickness of 10-15 nanometers. Some have been produced in lengths of up to a few millimeters, though most are tens to hundreds of micrometers long. The work is described in the March 9 issue of Science.
"Current research in one-dimensional systems has largely been dominated by carbon nanotubes," said Zhong Lin Wang, professor of Materials Science and Engineering and director of the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at the Georgia Institute of Technology. "It is now time to explore other one-dimensional systems that may have important applications for nanoscale functional and smart materials. These nanobelts are the next step in developing structures that may be useful in wider applications."
The press release also appears on the Georgia Tech web site, with a link to images. The research was sponsored by Georgia Tech, and a provision patent application has been filed on the new structures.