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Home > News > Advances in Nanotechnology could produce new devices

August 3rd, 2010

Advances in Nanotechnology could produce new devices

Abstract:
Developments in nanotechnology, such as tiny porphyrin tubes to make a broad range of nanodevices, and tiny bioelectronic circuits to make nanotech machines or sensors, could lead to the invention of new devices.

Tiny porphyrin tubes have been made at Sandia. These may be used to make a series of nanodevices - including ones that could harness sunlight in order to split water molecules and produce hydrogen.

Sandia researcher John Shelnutt came up with the idea of employing sunlight to split water at the nanoscale. He developed the idea of hollow porphyrin nanotubes, which are micrometers long and 50-70nm in diameter, with about 20nm-thick walls. Porphyrin nanotubes are made of oppositely charged porphyrin molecules. These can assemble themselves in water at room temperature. Contrasting this, carbon nanotubes are developed at high temperatures, and they have covalent bonds between carbon atoms. Porphyrin nanotubes do not possess the mechanical strength of carbon nanotubes. However, they do have a wider range of optical and electronic properties. Porphyrin molecules are strongly connected to chlorophyll which are an active part of photosynthetic proteins. Currently, carbon nanotubes frequently are modified by attaching porphyrins to increase their uses.

Source:
healthcare-digital.com

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