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Light powers nanomachine

  December 8/15, 2008
Combine a light-guiding chip and optical tweezers and you have a nanomachine powered by light.

The prototype is a sliver of semiconductor material that vibrates and channels light. The device shows the potential for nanoscale machines driven by light rather than electricity, which broadens the range of possibilities for nanomachines.

The device could be used for ultrasensitive sensors and high-speed communications devices that use little power.

Research paper:
Harnessing Optical Forces in Integrated Photonic Circuits
Nature, November 27, 2008

Researchers' homepages:
Yale NanoDevices Laboratory
Nanophotonics Lab, University of Washington

Related stories and briefs:
Laser tweezer traps nanotubes -- precursor research

Back to TRN December 8/15, 2008

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