Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Patent Opens Door to Nano Transistors

Abstract:
New class of nanoscale electronics and optics assembled from nanoparticles a possibility

Patent Opens Door to Nano Transistors

Eugene, OR | April 03, 2005

First came the patent on a greener, faster way to synthesize gold nanoparticles. On March 29, University of Oregon chemistry professor Jim Hutchison received a second patent that could lead to a new class of nanoscale electronics and optics assembled from nanoparticles--including ultrasmall transistors that operate efficiently at room temperature.

An article describing the discovery leading to this latest patent was published in the June 2004 issue of Langmuir, the American Chemical Society's surface science journal. The process was developed by Hutchison with two of his students, Gerd H. Woehrle and Marvin G. Warner.

"This has been a prolonged effort," Hutchison says. "We reported this invention in 1997 and the original work began in 1996. We had a concept, we reduced it to practice and now we've received a patent on it. It's exciting to have all that effort pay off."

Hutchison's first patent was issued in May 2004. Since then, he says, interest in greener methods for nanotechnology has heated up significantly. At the same time, the quest to build ever-smaller computer chips continues, and Hutchison's new patent may be just the ticket to meet what seems like an endlessly, exponentially increasing demand.

"The first patent covered the use of greener methods to make building blocks. This one is about a greener approach to creating self-assembling structures with those building blocks-a bottom-up approach like using Legos as opposed to chiseling or etching away material like we currently do on silicon chips," Hutchison explains.

Nanoscale transistors such as those addressed in the patent are composed of nanoparticle building blocks (for example, a chemically functionalized gold core 1.5 nanometers in diameter) and function based upon a mix of classical and quantum mechanical properties.

The patent covers the assembly of devices using a biopolymer DNA as a template. Within living organisms, DNA comprises the genetic code, but by itself, DNA is just a polymer-a string of molecules hooked together in a chain whose links can encode information. In Hutchison's lab, the DNA polymer serves as an architectural scaffold for tiny particles of gold, the ultimate conductor of electricity.

"If you think about a structure of gold dots on a DNA strand, it's like a wire with a whole bunch of minute cuts in it, about 15 angstroms in size," Hutchison says. "In order for electrons to travel down a nanoparticle chain, they have to jump or tunnel from one particle to the next. As a result, these nanochains have different properties than a wire would have. That's why you can make transistors out of them."

This tunneling behavior is a feature of quantum physics that creates problems when using current manufacturing techniques but becomes a boon when the workplace shrinks to nanoscale.

Hutchison directs the UO's Materials Science Institute and is co-director of ONAMI, the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute. The National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Inc., have funded his research.

Already known as a world leader for teaching green chemistry principles, Hutchison and his UO colleagues are pioneering the field of green nanoscience. "Jim Hutchison is clearly leading the way in identifying the scientific approaches that will be needed in designing the most innovative advances for nanoscience and technology in a way that is also not harmful to human health and the environment," says Paul Anastas, director of the Green Chemistry Institute, a nonprofit organization that is part of the American Chemical Society.

Hutchison, 42, is an Oregon native who earned his bachelor's degree at the UO and his doctorate from Stanford. He received an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship to work on analytical and surface chemistry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Since joining the UO faculty in 1994, he has received several awards and honors including an NSF CAREER Award and an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship.

ONAMI is focused on research and commercialization of nanoscience and microtechnologies to foster the creation of new products, companies and jobs in the Pacific Northwest. It unites the University of Oregon (Eugene), Oregon State University (Corvallis), and Portland State University with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, Wash.), the state of Oregon and private industry. The new patent is No. 6,872,971.

####



Contact:
Melody Ward Leslie
mleslie@uoregon.edu
541-346-2060

Copyright University of Oregon

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

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Quantum obstacle course changes material from superconductor to insulator December 1st, 2016

Throwing new light on printed organic solar cells December 1st, 2016

New method for analyzing crystal structure: Exotic materials called photonic crystals reveal their internal characteristics with new method November 30th, 2016

Chip Technology

Quantum obstacle course changes material from superconductor to insulator December 1st, 2016

Bumpy surfaces, graphene beat the heat in devices: Rice University theory shows way to enhance heat sinks in future microelectronics November 29th, 2016

Scientists shrink electron gun to matchbox size: Terahertz technology has the potential to enable new applications November 25th, 2016

Uncovering the secrets of friction on graphene: Sliding on flexible graphene surfaces has been uncharted territory until now November 23rd, 2016

Nanoelectronics

Supersonic spray yields new nanomaterial for bendable, wearable electronics: Film of self-fused nanowires clear as glass, conducts like metal November 23rd, 2016

What a twist: Silicon nanoantennas turn light around: The theoretical results will allow scientists to design nanodevices with extraordinary features for use in optoelectronics November 21st, 2016

2-D material a brittle surprise: Rice University researchers finds molybdenum diselenide not as strong as they thought November 14th, 2016

UCR researchers discover new method to dissipate heat in electronic devices: By modulating the flow of phonons through semiconductor nanowires, engineers can create smaller and faster devices November 13th, 2016

Announcements

Research Study: MetaSOLTM Shatters Solar Panel Efficiency Forecasts with Innovative New Coating: Coating Provides 1.2 Percent Absolute Enhancement to Triple Junction Solar Cells December 2nd, 2016

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Quantum obstacle course changes material from superconductor to insulator December 1st, 2016

Throwing new light on printed organic solar cells December 1st, 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