NANOSCIENCE -- Atom-scale switch . . .
ORNL researchers have discovered a carbon nanotube-based system that functions like an atom-scale switch. Their approach is to perform first-principles calculations on positioning a molecule inside a carbon nanotube to affect the electronic current flowing across it. The result is an electrical gate at the molecular level: In one position, the molecular gate is open, allowing current through; in another position, the gate is closed, blocking the current. In a silicon chip, the gate is a silicon oxide barrier within the structure of the chip. In the ORNL model, the gate is a short molecule encapsulated inside the carbon nanotubethat is about one nanometer in size, or three orders of magnitude smaller than a silicon chip. [Contact: Bill Cabage, (865) 574-4399; firstname.lastname@example.org]
FUSION -- Lassoing turbulence . . .
Fusion power is a holy grail of our energy future, promising eventually to provide cheap, plentiful electricity with a minimum of environmental concerns and no greenhouse gases.
Before it does, however, scientists must learn to control and contain an ionized gas hotter than the sun. Theoretical physicists from General Atomics are using ORNLs Phoenix supercomputer to understand turbulence that leaches energy from fusion reactors. In particular, they are focusing on the interaction between eddies created by gyrating electrons and much larger eddies created by gyrating ions. The answers they provide
|Contact: Ron Walli|
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory