The May 2024 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

Nano-Pine Trees

1 min read

University of Wisconsin materials scientists grew these lead-sulfide nano­wires [above] in the shape of pine trees, with a main trunk and branches spiraling around it like a helical staircase. Structures like this were difficult to make—until the researchers found that a single screw-shaped dislocation embedded in the trunk wire causes a spiral of branches to sprout.

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions