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Researchers decodes radio signals using nano electronic component

Published by under Nanotechnology,News categories on November 5, 2007

Electronic microscope photo of carbon nano tube with radio receiverScientist from the University of California Irvine have shown a working radio AM receiver made of carbon nanotechnology that is almost 1,000 times smaller than today’s radio technology. ie: few atoms scale.

The nanotechnology device is a demodulator that decodes radio waves and turns them into audio signals. By hooking the decoder up to two metal wires, University of California at Irvine professor Peter Burke transmitted music via AM radio waves from an iPod to speakers across the room.

“People have been working on nanoelectronics for many years, and there have been advances at the device level on switches and wires,” said Burke , who reported his findings in the November 14 issue of the American Chemical Society’s Nano Letters. “This work takes a step towards showing nanoelectronics in systems.”

Burke’s system is not wholly constructed of nanomaterials. Aside from the demodulator, the rest of the radio setup was off-the-shelf. But the nanocomponent is a crucial step in developing a fully nano-sized radio.

Detail“Though we have only demonstrated the critical component of the entire radio system out of a nanotube (the demodulator), it is conceivable in the future that all components could be nanoscale, thus allowing a truly nanoscale wireless communications system”

Nanotubes have attracted a lot of attention because of unique electrical properties that arise at the atomic scale.”They can behave as a semiconductor or metallic system and they have a very high physical strength,” he said. “Researchers are actively working on a large number of nanotechnology applications. In nanoelectronics the focus is on the unique properties that arise at the nanoscale. They are looking to take advantage of the electronic properties of the nanotubes.” 

Burke’s team is also looking at the interfaces between biological systems and nanotechnologies. He sees opportunities in manipulating human proteins, since they are about the same size as the nanoelectronics.


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