Scientists make radio from one carbon nanotube

Berkeley (CA) - A group of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have set a new miniaturization record by making a fully working radio from one carbon nanotube.

The carbon nanotube, which is a tiny rod made out of carbon atoms, is less than 10,000 times thinner than a single human hair. The UC Berkeley researchers’ accomplishment surpasses a similar feat by the University of California, Irvine.

At UCI, scientists had previously created a demodulator (to convert AM radio waves into electrical signals) from one carbon nanotube, but not an entire radio. The UCB device includes the demodulator as well as an antenna, amplifier, and tunable filter. It can be powered through an attached battery.

The UCB team, led by Alex Zetttl, has reportedly broadcast at least two songs on the microscopic radio : "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys and "Layla" by Derek and the Dominos.

The device is about more than just playing golden oldies in an electrical research lab, though. The inventors hope the tiny radio could be used in remote-control devices that would be capable of being implanted in a human’s bloodstream.

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