Art of paper can be cut intricate patterns, such as snow. Cornell University physicist has turned into paper-cut artists, however, in their hands, "Paper" is only one atom thick graphene, they cut out may be the world's smallest machines.
Cuffley Nanoscale Science Institute at Cornell University Paul McEwan led the research team published in the latest "Nature" magazine paper, shows how only 10 microns thick graphene (human hair is about 70 microns thick) cutting, folding, twisting and bending into various shapes, so that the paper-cut art extended to the nanoscale.
In such a microscopic scale, graphene and other thin material will become very sticky. Therefore, the researchers used a usual tricks to make it easier to manipulate: graphene suspended in a surfactant is added water, as slippery as soap. They made a gold ring as a pull "handle" to be able to catch the end of the cut shape after the graphene. In addition, the researchers also borrowed laser cutting machine, paper model established in accordance with the design, then use graphene to be manufactured.
They create a graphene sheet with a soft spring, which works like a very flexible transistors. McEwan said that the force required to pull this spring, with a force that may arise quite dynein. The experiment into the biomechanics scope for the application of nanoscale elastic device opens the door, such as a sensor can be placed in the vicinity or human cells in the brain.
The researchers also demonstrated how graphene bent into a simple hinge design and quantify the force required. They found that opening and closing hinges 10,000 times, it is still completely intact, flexibility, this may be a useful feature for nano-scale machines and equipment for folding.
A related Cornell University research group has received funding from the US Department of Defense, the use of paper-cut theoretical part of this study show, similar to graphene around the same flexible material continued technology development.