Researchers have made conducting polymer nanorods and nanotube Y-shaped junctions.

In the quest for ever smaller electronic components, researchers from the National University of Singapore have made conducting polymer nanorods and nanotube Y-shaped junctions.  

As electronic components become smaller than 10nm and alternatives to silicon technology are required, these three-point junctions should become important building blocks in molecular electronics, connecting different sizes of nanotubes to each other. 

Using Fe3O4 nanoparticles coated with a stabiliser and cyclodextrin to improve the miscibility, the group, led by Hardy Sze On Chan, has templated polyaniline nanostructures. The magnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles self-assemble to form chains around which aniline polymerises. By controlling the pH of the reaction, Chan and colleagues created both hollow nanotubes and nanorods containing Fe3O4

In the future Chan hopes to prepare other types of junction such as T- and H-shaped junctions as well as closed loops. He also hopes to use flash welding to ’solder’ nanorods or nanotubes to junctions in nano-electronic circuits.  

Rebecca Lavender