Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > In solution, tiny magnetic wires scatter light

Abstract:
Ccientists command the direction in which light bounces off tiny, magnetic wires

In solution, tiny magnetic wires scatter light

March 14, 2005

Maneuvering external magnets, scientists can command the direction in which light bounces off tiny, magnetic wires that sway like matchsticks in thick, slow-moving solutions.

Announcing her finding here on March 13 at the 229th meeting of the American Chemical Society, University of Wisconsin-Madison materials chemist Anne Bentley described how suspended nickel wires - each 200 times thinner than a human hair - could one day serve as magneto-optical switches. The switches could aid in fields such as photonics, where light, rather than electricity, relays information.

"In a broader sense, it is also helpful to study how these wires behave in wet situations because if they are ever medically used, there is little inside our bodies that's dry," says Bentley, who suspended her wires in several types of fluids and found that the light-directing phenomenon was most consistent when she used "molasses-like" liquids such as glycerol.

"Another advantage that magnetic fluids' may have over other light-directing devices, such as mirrors, is that fluids can easily take various shapes," Bentley adds.

Bentley calls her microscopic wires "nanowires" after nanotechnology, the booming, cutting-edge science of small. The "nano" in nanotechnology derives from the nanometer, which is equivalent to a billionth of one meter. Several types of nanoparticles are already in use, in products such as sunscreens and inkjet printer ink.

But in the fledgling realm of nanowire research, Bentley is one of only a few scientists worldwide who is studying the properties of nickel nanowires. Other nano-scale structures under investigation include, for instance, non-magnetic carbon nanotubes.

Nanowires have not yet ventured outside the research arena, but researchers believe they will one day become critical components in ever-shrinking electronic circuits. Nickel nanowires, for instance, could play a key role in storing information, says Bentley. In particular, scientists could use external magnets to dictate the orientation and position of magnetic nickel nanowires within complex and tiny electronic systems. Without such control, says Bentley, working with nano-scale circuit parts could be like "trying to put Legos together with oven mitts on."

####


Writer: Paroma Basu, (608) 262 9772, basu1@wisc.edu



Contact:
Anne Bentley
(608) 262-6711
akbentley@wisc.edu

Copyright University of Wisconsin

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Possible Futures

Scientists change properties of zeolites to improve hemodialysis July 29th, 2016

Novel state of matter: Observation of a quantum spin liquid July 29th, 2016

A new type of quantum bits July 29th, 2016

Pixel-array quantum cascade detector paves the way for portable thermal imaging devices: Research team from TU-Wien Center for Micro- and Nanostructures have developed a new 'cooler' sensing instrument thereby increasing energy-efficiency and enhancing mobility for diagnostic tes July 28th, 2016

Nanoelectronics

Beating the heat a challenge at the nanoscale: Rice University scientists detect thermal boundary that hinders ultracold experiments July 28th, 2016

New nontoxic process promises larger ultrathin sheets of 2-D nanomaterials July 27th, 2016

Ultra-flat circuits will have unique properties: Rice University lab studies 2-D hybrids to see how they differ from common electronics July 25th, 2016

Borrowing from pastry chefs, engineers create nanolayered composites: Method to stack hundreds of nanoscale layers could open new vistas in materials science July 25th, 2016

Announcements

Scientists change properties of zeolites to improve hemodialysis July 29th, 2016

Novel state of matter: Observation of a quantum spin liquid July 29th, 2016

A new type of quantum bits July 29th, 2016

Lonely atoms, happily reunited July 29th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic