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Home > Press > Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory: MATERIALS Moving toward nanorobots

Abstract:
Nanoscale robots that can flow through blood or repair complex electronics may yet be a possibility with the help of a new strategy developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory: MATERIALS Moving toward nanorobots

Oak Ridge, TN | Posted on July 14th, 2011

Although devices such as computer processors can effectively handle electrical signals at the length scale of 10 nanometers, achieving motion at the nanoscale has remained elusive. "If we want to conquer the nanoscale, we need efficient ways to convert electrical signals to mechanical signals on comparable length scales," said ORNL's Sergei Kalinin, co-author of a paper published in Nano Letters. The paper outlines an approach for nanoscale motion that takes advantage of the metal insulator transition in vanadium dioxide. In the work led by ORNL's Alexander Tselev, the researchers elicited mechanical motion in their system by applying current to vanadium dioxide nanowires to observe the interplay between current flow, phase transformations and mechanical motion.

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