A very brief but intriguing article on ScienceDaily reports that millimeter-scale nanotech structures self-assembled from hybrid nanowires can sense and respond to external stimuli, like magnetic fields and light. From “Building Giant ‘Nanoassemblies’ That Sense Their Environment“:
Researchers in Texas are reporting the design, construction, and assembly of nano-size building blocks into the first giant structures that can sense and respond to changes in environmental conditions.
The study, scheduled for the July 9 issue of ACS’s Nano Letters [abstract]… terms those structures “giant” because they are about the size of a grain of rice — millions of times larger than anything in the submicroscopic realm of the nanoworld.
In the new study, Pulickel M. Ajayan and colleagues point out that such structures are a step toward the development of futuristic nanomachines with practical applications in delivering medicines to patients, labs-on-a-chip, and other products. Until now, scientists have had difficulty in using nanomaterials to build more complex, multifunctional objects needed for those applications.