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Nanomaterials, Nanostructures, and Nanofabrication

Sensors

The smaller components become, the more difficult it is to create patterns in an economical and reproducible way, according to an interdisciplinary team of Penn State researchers who, using sound waves, can place nanowires in repeatable patterns for potential use in a variety of sensors, optoelectronics and nanoscale circuits.

The researchers looked at the placement of metallic nanowires in solution on a piezoelectric substrate. Piezoelectric materials move when an electric voltage is applied to them and create an electric voltage when compressed.

Nanostructured Carbons

Our work on carbon nanotubes covers a very wide range of systems and physical phenomena. In terms of structural properties, carbon nanotubes are one of the most anisotropic materials known: in the axial direction they are exceptionally stiff and strong, while radial deformation and radial sliding are quite easily induced. For a tube of large-enough diameter, the "inflated" state of round cross-section is not the lowest energy state. Instead, the system can collapse into a flat ribbon and thereby capture surface energy of adhesion between the inner faces.

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