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Home > News > Casimir effect put to work as a nano-switch

July 5th, 2010

Casimir effect put to work as a nano-switch

Abstract:
A new technique that takes control of the Casimir effect - a strange quantum phenomenon that gums up nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) - may pave the way to a switch that could cut the power consumption of nanoscale gadgets.

The effect was named after Dutch physicist Hendrik Casimir, who predicted its existence in 1948. Nanotechnologists are keen to tame it, because it gums up their nanoscopic machines.

A European research team has now done just that, using a material already used in rewritable CDs and Blu-ray discs. AIST, an alloy of silver, indium, antimony and tellurium, reversibly switches from a crystalline to an amorphous state when heated by a laser, allowing data to be written and rewritten onto a disc.

Source:
newscientist.com

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