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  2. 2. Don’t have enough tunes on that iPod? Nanowires can fix that! iPod
  3. 3. Table of Content What Are Nanowires? What are Nanowires Made of? How Are Nanowires Made? Alternative Method? What Good Are Nanowires? Striped Nanowires? What Are Nanowires Being Developed For? Why Are Nanowires Not Being Implemented? Summary Glossary of Terms
  4. 4. What are nanowires?Nanowires are microscopic wires that have a width measured in nanometers. Typically their width ranges from forty to fifty nanometers, but their length is not so limited. Since they can be lengthened by simply attaching more wires end to end or just by growing them longer, they can be as long as desired.
  5. 5. What Are Nanowires Made of? Nanowires are metal just like other, regular wires. The only real difference in concept is their size. They also vary in complexity and uses. While they can do many of the same things, they have many other capabilities beyond those of regular wire.
  6. 6. How are nanowires made? There are varying methods used to create nanowires. The most common involve either growing them or using DNA as a template. For the latter method, a solution containing the desired metal is mixed with DNA and then exposed to UV light. When exposed, the metal in the mixture bonds to the DNA and forms a microscopic wire, a nanowire. It’s width is dependent upon how concentrated the solution of the metal is. The more concentrated the metal solution, the wider the nanowire; likewise, the less concentrated, the thinner the wire will be.
  7. 7. Alternative Method? The alternative method, growing the nanowire, uses drops of gold in precise locations on a sapphire wafer. At high temperatures the gold beads up in droplets only a few nanometers large. These droplets act as points on which zinc oxide can form crystals. The crystals grow from there and take the shape of a wire. With this method it is possible to control the direction in which the nanowire forms as well as its shape. This would make it easier to make a component such as a tiny circuit from nanowires by growing them in place instead of trying to position them in precise locations later.
  8. 8. What good are nanowires? Some uses of nanowires include: • Data storage/transfer - transfer data up to 1,000 times faster, and store data for as long as 100,000 years without degradation • Batteries/generators - tiny, efficient solar panels, turning light into energy, able to hold 10 times the charge of existing batteries • Transistors • LED’s • Optoelectronic devices • Biochemical sensors • Heat-pumping Thermoelectric devices
  9. 9. Striped Nanowires? Striped nanowires are capable of performing more than one task along the same wire. They are striped with different materials that posses different properties, an attribute which allows different operations to be performed at the same time. This also enables devices to be more compacted because fewer wires are needed; each nanowire is serving multiple functions.
  10. 10. What uses are nanowires being developed for? IBM has been doing research on forming U-shaped nanowires to create a “racetrack memory”. This method would allow IBM to create a memory system with no moving parts and far greater storage than flash memory. This U-shape is formed with closely arranged nanowires, allowing fast transmissions and increasing storage size without adding to the overall size of the device. Nanowires are also being developed for prototype sensors. These sensors will be used on gases and biological molecules. They will be used to detect harmful agents by scanning each gas or chemical on a molecular level. This is possible due to how small these wires can be. They will be made out of materials that react to harmful agents, thus alerting to the presence of harmful agents. For Star Trek fans, this would be a very similar device to the “Tri-Corder.”
  11. 11. Why Are Nanowires Not Being Implemented? Nanowires are not being heavily manufactured because they are still in the development stage and are only produced in the laboratory. Until production has been streamlined, made easier and faster, they will not be heavily manufactured for commercial purposes. Furthermore, though they are 4 or 5 times more effective than current technology, an industry-wide technology overhaul is not cost effective at the moment.
  12. 12. Summary Nanowires are simply very small wires that will be able to greatly reduce the size of electronic devices while allowing us to increase the efficiency of those devices. They are not widely used yet because they are still being developed in laboratories and have not moved to manufacturing plants. The most apparent impact this will have on society would be the increase of storage space for mp3 players, computers, and phones without increasing size.
  13. 13. Glossary of Terms • Optoelectronics- devices that generate, transform, transmit, or sense optical, infrared, or ultraviolet radiation, as cathode-ray tubes, electroluminescent and liquid crystal displays, lasers, and solar cells. • Thermoelectric- involving the direct relationship between heat and electricity.