More tricks for the nano bag

  • Some bright sparks at Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory have developed tougher tips for scanning probe microscopes. A past problem with tips in such microscopes has been that they wore down too quickly when scanning surfaces. The old process of creating new tips was very slow and expensive. This has prevented the creation of massively parallel two dimensional arrays of tips. Such arrays would have enormous benefits for nanoscale imaging and, the key thing, nanoscale fabrication.
  • Other bright sparks at the University of Massachusetts have discovered that certain species of bacteria can grow tiny conductive wires. Not only that the genetic mechanisms that produce these wires are well understood and can be altered. This leads to speculation that the critters can used as microscopic workhorses that lay down the cabling for nanoscopic circuit elements or MEMS.
  • Still other bright sparks at the University of California, Santa Barbara, have developed a nanoscopic package that can open and close on chemical command. This may be useful in delivering drugs or gene therapy in the future.
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