The world's thinnest one-atom nanowire has been created

Researchers at the University of Cambridge and the University of Warwick (UK) have succeeded in creating the world's thinnest one-dimensional tellurium nanowire just one atom thick.

As you know, the Universe is three-dimensional. Even a sheet of paper cannot be truly one- or two-dimensional - it will still have thickness. However, modern materials like graphene allow structures to be one atom thick, making them essentially two-dimensional. The nanowire in question is one-dimensional, since its size is limited to only one atom.

The nanoscale of the wire posed a problem - in a free state, atoms without structure are difficult to hold together. In view of this, the product would be very fragile. To keep tellurium atoms in a single chain, British scientists injected them into the center of carbon nanotubes without compromising conductivity.

The researchers also found that by changing the cross section of the nanotube, they can influence the properties of tellurium. In its normal state, it is a semiconductor, but under certain conditions tellurium acquires the properties of a metal.

The emergence of conductors in the form of monoatomic nanowires opens up broad prospects for further miniaturization of microcircuits, which will significantly reduce the size of the entire line of modern electronics.