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September 12th, 2003
Joining two or more nanochips, such as nano-electromechanical systems (NEMS), can be done by welding or gluing or with tiny nuts and bolts. But what if you could gently just fasten them the way fabrics are fastened, with velcro? Conventional velcro fastening works by pairing one patch of mm-scale hooked protuberances with a patch of looped protuberances. In the microscopic version, both patches would bristle with carbon nanotubes, grown upright except for a hook on the top end. David Tomanek and his colleagues are studying how to make nano-velcro work.
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