To correlate the mechanical motions of the nanotube to an actual radio receiver operation, we launched an FM radio transmission of the song Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys, said Zettl. After being received, filtered, amplified, and demodulated all by the nanotube radio, the emerging signal was further amplified by a current preamplifier, sent to an audio loudspeaker and recorded. The nanotube radio faithfully reproduced the audio signal, and the song was easily recognizable by ear.
When the researchers deliberately detuned the nanotube radio from the carrier frequency, mechanical vibrations faded and radio reception was lost. A lock on a given radio transmission channel could be maintained for many minutes at a time, and it was not necessary to operate the nanotube radio inside a TEM. Using a slightly different configuration, the researchers successfully transmitted and received signals across a distance of several meters.
The integration of all the electronic components of a radio happened naturally in the nanotube itself, said Jensen. Within a few hours of figuring out that our force sensor was in fact a radio, we were playing music!
Added Zettl, Our nanotube radio is sophisticated and elegant in the physics of its operation, but sheer simplicity in technical design. Everything about it works perfectly, without additional patches or tricks.
Berkeley Labs Technology Transfer Department is now seeking industrial partners to further develop and commercialize this technology.
|Contact: Lynn Yarris|
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory