nanotransistorWhen we heard about the phenomenon of “Self Excitation of Nano-Mechanical Pillars” and the possible implications in the development of nano-computing devices, we were as excited as the next “nanobods“. But what had us laughing off our chairs was the interpretation of the effect – if you could call it an interpretation – on the physics arXiv blog – in a southern Jive!

Convertin’ a constant force into an oscillatin’ one is a useful trick. Ya’ll seen em: gravity-powered pendulums and wind-powered turbines for example, them both set machines a-spinin and a-swingin by exploitin’ a constant force.


The science of the effect is the ability to convert a constant signal into an oscillating one – a visual example is the windmill where a constant force – the blowing wind – can set up a resonant oscillation frequency in the turbine.

This phenomenon of self excitation (SE) would be a very useful feature if it could be replicated within nano systems, since it can be produced by applying a constant DC voltage to produce an oscillation [At the basis of any kind of binary system, which will form the foundations of a computing system, is the ability to produce a varying or oscillating signal which can be ultimately be made to flip between two binary states on-off, 0/1 etc.].


Kim et all at UC Davis have published a paper describing the demonstration of self excitation in single electron, nano electro-mechanical transistors (NEMSET), which could form the basis for nano-computing systems.

Their device is a kinda nano-mushroom that stands between the plates of a capacitor, in a constant DC field.

Give the mushroom a push and it leans towards the source electrode where electrons tunnel across into the mushroom head. The DC field exerts a force on this extra charge on the ’shroom, pushing it towards the drain electrode where the electrons jump ship. The force disappears and the mushroom’s stiffness sends it swinging back to the source again like metronome, and the process starts again.

But back to jive – there is a neat website that lets you translate from English to Jive, but unfortunately not the other way around.

So the next time you write a boring article, you might want to spice it up with a double shot of Jive!

So de next time ya’ scribble some bo’in’ article, ya’ might wanna spice it down wid some double shot uh Jive. Right On!

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