Latest Issue of Science News


News

Itsy chain turns bitsy gears

The 19th-century chain drive remains popular in bicycles, car engines, and industrial machinery. Now, designers at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M., have reinvented the component at a microscopic scale. Ed Vernon and his colleagues sculpted thin layers of silicon and silicon dioxide to make a chain that moves gears in a system where the links and teeth are the size of biological cells. Such tiny gadgetry might someday operate shutters for tiny cameras, Vernon notes.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

X
This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.