Monday, November 08, 2004

Berkeley to play with tiny tinkertoys

New NSF center to study fundamentals of nanostructures, build and test nanodevices (EurekAlert)

    Nanobatteries, nanopumps, nanomotors and a slew of other nanoscale devices - most with parts that move a mere fraction of the width of an atom - are among the promises of a new $11.9 million Center of Integrated Nanomechanical Systems (COINS) starting up this fall at the University of California, Berkeley.

    The center, one of six new Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers funded for five years by the National Science Foundation (NSF), will harness the skills of theoretical and experimental physicists, chemists, biologists and engineers to explore the basic science of nanostructures and then use this knowledge to both create nanoscale building blocks and assemble them into working devices.

    The goal is to merge nanotubes and a host of other Tinkertoy-like nanopieces with organic molecules - DNA, proteins or nanomolecular motors - to create sensors or nanomachines small enough to fit on the back of a virus. Each nanoscale building block ranges from a few to hundreds of nanometers across (a nanometer is a billionth of a meter, about one thousandth the width of a human hair). More here

No comments: