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October 24, 2007


Tuning In With A Nanotube

Carbon nanotube is employed as an AM radio demodulator

Bethany Halford


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Radio has gone nano. Electrical engineers at the University of California, Irvine, have built a radio receiver that uses a carbon nanotube as a key component (Nano Lett., DOI: 10.1021/nl0714839). Peter J. Burke and Chris Rutherglen employed the nanotube as a demodulator—a device that translates radio waves into sound.

The UC Irvine team grew nanotubes on high-resistivity silicon and then grafted palladium electrodes onto the wafer using optical lithography. For the demodulator, the researchers selected devices in which a lone nanotube bridges the gap between electrodes. They then incorporated the nanotube demodulator into an AM radio receiver.

Using an iPod and an AM signal generator as their broadcasting system, Burke and Rutherglen showed they could wirelessly transmit music to the nanotube receiver system while maintaining high audio quality.

The demodulator isn???t limited to AM radio, Burke tells C&EN; the nanotube device could work with other broadcasting systems, such as FM radio or cellular phone signals.

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Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2009 American Chemical Society


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