Nanotube Oscillator Might Weigh a Single Atom

Roland Piquepaille writes "Recent developments in nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) have typically used vibrating silicon rods so small that they oscillate at radio frequencies. But now, Cornell University researchers have replaced the silicon rod by a carbon nanotube. This new electromechanical oscillator might be capable of weighing a single atom. The oscillator consists "of a carbon nanotube from one to four nanometers in diameter and about one-and-a-half micrometers long, suspended between two electrodes above a conducting silicon plate." Such an oscillator, tunable from 3 to 200 MHz, could be used in future cell phones, which have to change frequently their operating frequencies. The only problem is that the current production of carbon nanotubes is too small for such a huge market. Read more for additional details and references."

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