Archive for November, 2008

DNA strands become fiber optic cables

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

“Thanks to new technique, DNA strands can be easily converted into tiny fiber optic cables that guide light along their length. Optical fibers made this way could be important in optical computers, which use light rather then electricity to perform calculations, or in artificial photosynthesis systems that may replace today’s solar panels.

Both kinds of device need small-scale light-carrying “wires” that pipe photons to where they are needed. Now Bo Albinsson and his colleagues at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, have worked out how to make them. The wires build themselves from a mixture of DNA and molecules called chromophores thatcan absorb and pass on light.

The result in similar to natural photonic wires inside organisms like algae, where they are used to transport photons to parts of a cell where their energy can be tapped. In these wires, choromophores are lined up in chains to channel photons.”-Colin Barras

DNA fiber optic cable

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