iPod Implant

Researchers at the National Science Foundation’s Center of Integrated Nanomechanical Systems have built a miniaturized radio using the mechanical vibration of a single carbon nanotube. What’s more, they say, it works.

“Fixed between two electrodes, the vibrating tube successfully performed the four critical roles of a radio — antenna, tunable filter, amplifier and demodulator — to tune in a radio signal generated in the room and play it back through an attached speaker,” NSF said.

“The application of a fully functioning radio receiver less than 50 millionths of an inch in length and one millionth of an inch in diameter potentially allows the radio control of almost anything, from a single receiver in a living cell to a vast array embedded in an airplane wing.”

According to the NSF: “Functional across a bandwidth widely used for commercial radio, the tiny device could have applications far beyond novelty, from radio-controlled devices that could flow in the human bloodstream to highly efficient, miniscule, cell phone devices.”

Can’t wait to have my phone and MP3 player stuck into my thumb.

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association (pcea.net). He previously was editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He spent 21 years as vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversaw all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 30 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow