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Wee wires that can crawl

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12:24pm, October 27, 2004

While researchers today frequently create electronic and mechanical devices only a few nanometers in size, they can't easily manipulate those itty-bitty components. Now, an Israel-based team of chemists offers a possible solution: self-propelled nanowires.

Such mobile strands might switch electric current on and off in minuscule circuits by reversibly bridging gaps between other wires, says Fernando Patolsky. He and his colleagues at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have also investigated such tiny itinerant wires as potential nanotransporters for hauling around chemicals within minute structures, including cells.

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