A University of Southern California engineer has discovered a way to manufacture composite “nanocables” from a potent new class of substances with extraordinary properties called Transition Metal Oxides (TMOs).
Chongwu Zhou, an assistant professor in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Department of Electrical Engineering, is creating dense arrays of ultrafine wires made of magnesium oxide (MgO), each coated with uniform, precisely controlled layers of TMO.
In the last decade, TMOs have come under intense investigation because they demonstrate a wide range of potentially highly useful properties including high-temperature superconductivity. Because of the great potential for applications and research, investigators have tried for years to create TMO nanowires, but have so far had limited success. “But now we can supply a group of previously unavailable materials to the nanotechnology community,” Zhou said.