AFMs Wield Parts for Nanoconstruction

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Science  27 Nov 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5394, pp. 1620
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5394.1620

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Nanotechnologists haven't had an effective means of manipulating and joining their tiny components--until now. At the Sixth Foresight Institute Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology held in Santa Clara, California, last week, researchers welded opposite ends of tiny tubes of carbon atoms to two silicon probes normally used to map surface contours by "feel" in an atomic force microscope, moved the probes to twist, tug, and bend the tubes, and even brought in a third arm to give the nanotube a nudge in the middle. All of this was accomplished inside a scanning electron microscope, allowing them to view and control the nanomanipulation as it happened.