Atomic insulation

Nanoscopic wires will likely be key components of a future generation of sub-microelectronic devices. Japanese researchers, Ryo Kitaura and Hisanori Shinohara, now report a simple approach to creating insulated wires by depositing metal atoms inside carbon nanotubes. Writing in the journal Angewandte Chemie, the team explains that individual atoms line up side-by-side and so are well protected by their nanotube sheath leading to long-term stability. The approach works for any metal that can be readily vaporized at relatively low temperature, including europium, samarium, ytterbium, and strontium.