I love it when a rush of articles like this appear on TheNext Big Future. Here we have a microscopic engine:
"We've developed the world's smallest steam engine, or to be more precise the smallest Stirling engine, and found that the machine really does perform work,"
Here we have further efforts at miniaturization using carbon nano-tubes:
Three dimensional integration is a hot field within electronics since it offers a new way to package components densely and thus build tiny, well-functioning units. When stacking chips vertically, the most effective way to interconnect them is with electrical interconnects that go through the chip (instead of being wired together at the edges) – what are known as through-silicon vias.
Here we have nano-springs:
In order to exploit the particular material properties that appear at the nanoscale, it is first necessary to fabricate materials with nanoscale structures in a controlled and repeatable fashion. Reliable methods for the fabrication of simple shapes such as nanorods, nanocubes and nanotubes are now available, but more complex shapes still pose a challenge. Sungho Park and co-workers from Sungkyunkwan University in Korea have now reported a promising method for the synthesis of palladium nanosprings.
Quantum entangled photons:
Researchers from the University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei in collaboration with colleagues in Germany and Austria have now demonstrated a system that allows photons to be entangled and stored in a manner suitable for quantum computing.
And photonic chips for quantum processors:
A multi-purpose optical chip which generates, manipulates and measures entanglement and mixture - two quantum phenomena which are essential driving forces for tomorrow's quantum computers - has been developed by researchers from the University of Bristol's Centre for Quantum Photonics. This work represents an important step forward in the race to develop a quantum computer.
Of course with steady developments like this we might end up with some sort of self-replicating technology that grows like a plant, or a fungal mycelia…