nanosprings: nanoelectromechanical actuators

Dr. J.P. Singh writes "Nanostructures such as nanorods, nanowires and nanosprings are building blocks of future nanomachines and have potential applications in nanosensors and nanodevices. Due to their high structural flexibility and strength, nanosprings should be suitable for applications in nanoelectromagnetic sensors and devices. However, so far no electromechanically actuated nanosprings has been demonstrated. We demonstrated a nanoscale electromechanical actuator operation using an isolated nanoscale spring. The four-turn Si nanosprings were grown using the oblique angle deposition technique with substrate rotation, and were rendered conductive by coating with a 10 nm-thick Co layer using chemical vapor deposition. The electromechanical actuation of a nanospring was performed by passing a dc current through it using a conductive atomic force microscope tip. The electromagnetic force produces spring compression. See upcoming article in 10 May 2004 issue of Appl. Phys. Letts."

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