Atomic Chains in Nanotubes Push the Electronics Frontier
Boron nitride nanotubes (BNNT), studied by physicists at Michigan Tech, encase tellurium atomic chains like a straw, which could be controllable by light and pressure. In collaboration with researchers from Purdue University, Washington University and University of Texas at Dallas, the team published their findings in Nature Electronics this week.
Yoke Khin Yap (Physics) has studied nanotubes and nanoparticles — discovering the quirks and promises of their quantum mechanical behaviors. He pioneered using electrically insulating BNNTs for electronics by showing that added gold nanoparticles and iron nanoparticles on the surface of BNNTs enhanced the material’s quantum tunneling, acting like atomic stepping stones that could help electronics escape the confines of silicon transistors. More recently, his group also created atomically thin gold clusters on BNNTs. As implied by the “tube” of their nanostructure, BNNTs are hollow in the middle. They’re highly insulating and as strong and bendy as an Olympic gymnast.
Read more on mtu.edu/news about how these properties could help improve wearable tech and other electronics.