After Hours

Scientists develop atom-sized radio

Scientists at the University of California (Irvine) demonstrate a working radio built from carbon nanotubes that is about 1,000 times smaller than present day radios.

Scientists at the University of California (Irvine) demonstrate a working radio built from carbon nanotubes that is about 1,000 times smaller than present day radios.

An excerpt from Wired:

"People have been working on nanoelectronics for many years, and there have been advances at the device level on switches and wires," said Burke, who reported his findings in the November 14 issue of the American Chemical Society's Nano Letters. This work takes a step towards showing nanoelectronics in systems."

Peter Burke, the professor who helped develop the radio, added that the nano component in the radio is the demodulator that converts the radio signals to sound. The Wired link has a video, as well.

Nanotechnology is projected as the next generation of miniaturization, but several hurdles remain in getting products into the market, since manufacturing at the nano-scale level is a completely different ball game. The problem is that designing components at the atomic level implies near perfect manufacturing assemblies, which so far has been a far call.

Still, for the continued miniaturization of components as we know it, nanotechnology does appear as the future. The only question left is when will we see it?

More information:

Radio Nano calling, testing 1,2,3,4 (NY Times)

'World's smallest radio' unveiled (BBC)

The incredible shrinking radio (LiveScience)

6 comments
koya.priyanka
koya.priyanka

Awesome.... Nano Technology emerging science proved itself again by this. The idea of nanofieng the demodulator is really great.The only thing is nanofying this may not be that useful as we have ipods and the radio in the mobile itself and now the new thing iphone (ipod, a mobile). It would be good if a nano television is found, which inturn may help this in fixing a mobile which can act as a multi media. Really once imagine if we have a television in our mobiles... i dont think so this is not impossible one and i hope the futher development or implementation whatever you say, may be of this kind.. But Really my Hearty congratulations to Burke and his team.

OldER Mycroft
OldER Mycroft

How can you hear anything if the receiver is smaller than the wavelength? Eh? [think about it!]

hammc
hammc

I have heard of many nano developed items from gears to clocks to radios.. Do any of these things work? Are they just concept developments? Don't get me wrong they are cool but who wants to look at a tiny clock unless it is helping to keep time for a new processor.

seanferd
seanferd

option a) I believe the relevant item is the antenna. I can't remember (and haven't looked up) how wavelength relates to reception, but AM radio is in the mile-wavelength spectrum, and radio receivers are fairly small. The transmitting antenna may be more important here. option b) If you mean sonic wavelength as opposed to EM wavelength, i suppose they would have to attatch the receiver and transducer to a speaker large enough to be loud enough to hear, but you can hear fairly long wavelengths of sound (pressure waves) and your eardrum is a tiny beast. How the heck do these things work? Good question. We'll have to Ask Doctor Science.

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

it's a receiver, not a speaker. I presume you'd send a wire out to a speaker (or a blue tooth link) Wait a minute. That's why I'm picking up the CIA lunchroom menu on my tooth!

Neil Higgins
Neil Higgins

Oops...we all know what happens when you do that.... In the end you will be born "bar-coded",so you can listen,or watch,via the ears to optic cortex to eyes display "gizmo".If such "nonsense" could ever exist.Me? I'd just watch Wolf Blitzer grill the idiot who thought all this up.