Are the practical implementations of physics about the get a boost? Researchers from Stanford University and the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have found a way to use the tiniest of diamonds, called diamondoids, to make wires that measure just three atoms wide.
In a piece on the subject on Forbes, Hao Yan, a Stanford postdoctoral researcher and lead author of the research which will be published this week in Nature Materials, explains that the conductive wires assemble themselves, LEGO-style: “The process is a simple, one-pot synthesis. You dump the ingredients together and you can get results in half an hour. It’s almost as if the diamondoids know where they want to go”.
The new wires have the potential to be used in superconducting materials, “fabrics that generate electricity or optoelectronics that use both light and electricity”.
Diamondoids have been used in the past to make nanowires derived from other elements that grew large enough to see without the aid of a microscope.
“You can imagine weaving those into fabrics to generate energy,” another scientist involved in the research explained. This method gives us a versatile toolkit where we can tinker with a number of ingredients and experimental conditions to create new materials with finely tuned electronic properties and interesting physics.”