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cross-shaped nanostructures

Innovation in ultrasound

Nanometric gold crosses receive laser energy and generate sound waves

LNLBNanometric gold crosses receive laser energy and generate sound wavesLNLB

The resolution of medical ultrasound images may become a thousand times better in the future. This would be achieved by applying the technology demonstrated by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, for producing, detecting, and controlling ultra-high frequency sound waves in nanometric-scale systems. The team, captained by Xiang Zhang, produced cross-shaped gold nanostructures measuring 35 nanometers (nm) in thickness, 120 nm horizontally, and 90 nm vertically. By applying an oscillating laser beam to the arms of the crosses, the system generates vibrational energy waves (Nature Communications, June 2014). The new system operates at a frequency of 10 gigahertz (10 billion cycles per second). Present-day medical ultrasound devices generate a frequency of about 20 megahertz (20 million cycles per second).