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Nanotubes may form gigahertz oscillators for nanocomputers

A brief item on the Physical Review Focus website ("Nanotubes in the fast lane", by J.R. Minkel, 18 January 2002) summarizes a paper in the 28 January 2002 print issue of Physical Review Letters in which researchers calculate that a group of concentric nanotubes nested inside an outer set of tubes can slide back and forth a billion times every second. Such a gigahertz oscillator could be a major advance in nanotechnology that would enable applications such as ultra-fast optical filters and nano-antennae. The researchers contend that the low friction between tubes — a tenth or less of the nano-newton-scale attractive force — allows the ensuing oscillation to match a Pentium 4 computer chip's speed in processing electronic signals, and that this demonstrates the feasibility of fabricating such devices.

Some readers of this article may find interesting echoes of the rod logic mechanical nanocomputer proposed by K. Eric Drexler back in 1988.

2 Responses to “Nanotubes may form gigahertz oscillators for nanocomputers”

  1. Mr_Farlops Says:

    Bolting these devices together.

    These last two or three years have been very exciting as lab after lab invents nanoscopic analogs to conventional circuit elements. What I want to know is who is working on snapping these devices together into actual half-adders and legions of XOR gates?

  2. WillWare Says:

    Re:Bolting these devices together.

    What I want to know is who is working on snapping these devices together into actual half-adders and legions of XOR gates?

    Check the Jan 24th article about the HP/UCLA work. As far as I can see, it addresses exactly the problem you are describing.

    http://nanodot.org/article.pl?sid=02/01/24/2026235 &mode=nested

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