Nanoscale torsion resonator is developed

Nov. 3, 2008 at 11:44 AM
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BOSTON, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- A team of U.S., French, German and South Korean scientists has developed a nanoscale device that can detect torque-generating molecules and DNA strands.

The researchers said their nanoscale torsion resonator can measure miniscule amounts of twisting or torque in a metallic nanowire. The scientists said the device, the size of a speck of dust, might enable measurements of the untwisting of DNA and have applications in spintronics, fundamental physics, chemistry and biology.

"This is perhaps the most sensitive torque measurement ever reported," said Boston University Associate Professor Raj Mohanty, a member of the team. "The size of the torque measured by this experiment is smaller than the typical torque produced by the untwisting of a double-stranded DNA."

The study that included Guiti Zolfagharkhani and Alexi Gaidarzhy, formerly of Boston University; Pascal Degiovanni of the University of Lyon, France; Stefan Kettemann of Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany; and Peter Fulde of the Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics in Pohang, South Korea, appears in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

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