Roland Piquepaille writes "A team of chemists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), working with computer scientists, has discovered a new kind of adaptable nanoscale compounds. They previously devised tetrapods, structures with four 'arms' or 'legs', from materials such as cadmium telluride. But they now found that by using different materials, like selenium, tellurium or sulfur, to produce crystals of different cadmium compounds, each 'leg' could acquire different electronic properties. After isolating these 'legs,' they were able to produce 'nanorods' with specific properties. In "Nanotech Branches Out with New Discovery," NewsFactor Network says that this discovery will have important consequences, leading to the development of new solar cells, quantum computers or simply very small and fast transistors. This overview is more technical and contains additional references. You'll also find an image showing you the kind of nano tetrapods built at LBNL."