Circuit points to future of nanoscale electronics

December 11, 2002

Using clusters of gold atoms and a microscopic lever, University of Toronto chemists have created a tiny circuit critical to the future of electronic engineering.

"When things are this small, they are fantastically sensitive," says Professor Al-Amin Dhirani. "Such a circuit could make possible a bio-sensor that is activated by the reaction of just one molecule." This has the potential for detecting important biological molecules including DNA, he notes.

Dhirani found that when the metal tip of an electrical source is placed near a lever coated in gold nanoparticles, electrons jump from the tip to the nanoparticles. This pulls the lever toward the tip. His finding allows researchers to detect the presence of a single electron in a circuit. Up until now, researchers could show only the overall electron flow in nanoparticles.

He adds that different nanoparticles could be combined to create custom-designed electronic materials with specific electronic properties. The study, which appears in the Dec. 15 issue of Physical Review B, was funded by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, the Connaught Fund, the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council for Canada, the Ontario Innovation Trust and the Nortel Institute.
-end-
CONTACT: Professor Al-Amin Dhirani, Department of Chemistry, 416-946-5789, adhirani@chem.utoronto.ca or Nicolle Wahl, U of T public affairs, 416-978-6974, nicolle.wahl@utoronto.ca

University of Toronto

Related Nanoparticles Articles from Brightsurf:

An ionic forcefield for nanoparticles
Nanoparticles are promising drug delivery tools but they struggle to get past the immune system's first line of defense: proteins in the blood serum that tag potential invaders.

Phytoplankton disturbed by nanoparticles
Products derived from nanotechnology are efficient and highly sought-after, yet their effects on the environment are still poorly understood.

How to get more cancer-fighting nanoparticles to where they are needed
University of Toronto Engineering researchers have discovered a dose threshold that greatly increases the delivery of cancer-fighting drugs into a tumour.

Nanoparticles: Acidic alert
Researchers of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have synthesized nanoparticles that can be induced by a change in pH to release a deadly dose of ionized iron within cells.

3D reconstructions of individual nanoparticles
Want to find out how to design and build materials atom by atom?

Directing nanoparticles straight to tumors
Modern anticancer therapies aim to attack tumor cells while sparing healthy tissue.

Sweet nanoparticles trick kidney
Researchers engineer tiny particles with sugar molecules to prevent side effect in cancer therapy.

A megalibrary of nanoparticles
Using straightforward chemistry and a mix-and-match, modular strategy, researchers have developed a simple approach that could produce over 65,000 different types of complex nanoparticles.

Dialing up the heat on nanoparticles
Rapid progress in the field of metallic nanotechnology is sparking a science revolution that is likely to impact all areas of society, according to professor of physics Ventsislav Valev and his team at the University of Bath in the UK.

Illuminating the world of nanoparticles
Scientists at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) have developed a light-based device that can act as a biosensor, detecting biological substances in materials; for example, harmful pathogens in food samples.

Read More: Nanoparticles News and Nanoparticles Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.