Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UNC-CH Study Shows Carbon Nanotubes Display Remarkable Strength, Flexibility

Date:
October 9, 1997
Source:
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Summary:
Carbon tubes so thin it would take several million lying side by side to cover an inch show such remarkable flexibility, strength and resiliency that industry should be able to incorporate them into high performance sports and aerospace materials, according to new experiments.

CHAPEL HILL -- Carbon tubes so thin it would take several million lyingside by side to cover an inch show such remarkable flexibility, strength andresiliency that industry should be able to incorporate them into highperformance sports and aerospace materials, according to new experiments. Manyother products also could be made stronger and possibly safer, scientistsbelieve.

The research, conducted at the University of North Carolina at ChapelHill, for the first time used a unique computer-linked microscope to bend andrecord properties of carbon nanotubes.

Researchers create the materials -- a form of soot -- by arcingelectricity between two sticks of carbon. About six years ago, Japanesescientist Sumio Iijima discovered the tiny tubes, which are proving to bestiffer and stronger than any other known substance.

"Carbon nanotubes are a new material that scientists around the worldhave been studying intensively," said Michael R. Falvo of UNC-CH. "What we havefound is that under large strains, they have the extraordinary property of beingone of the stiffest materials known, while also being able to bend withoutbreaking and then be bent back into their original shape. This is unique."

Falvo is a doctoral student working under the direction of Dr. RichardSuperfine, assistant professor of physics and astronomy.

A report on the research appears as the cover story in Thursday's issue(Oct 9) of the journal Nature. Besides Falvo and Superfine, authors of thereport are graduate student Gregory J. Clary; Russell M. Taylor II, researchassistant professor of computer science; Vernon Chi, director of themicroelectronics systems laboratory; Dr. Frederick P. Brooks Jr., Kenanprofessor of computer science; and Dr. Sean Washburn, professor of physics andastronomy.

The UNC-CH scientists used a device they invented and called thenanoManipulator to bend the nanotubes, which are extremely light, and thenmeasure the curvature of the bends. They also studied the tubes' bucklingbehavior -- whether or not they buckled under pressure like drinking straws in achild's hands and stayed bent and damaged.

"We found that most of the bending was reversible, and that's excitingbecause it was not known before," Falvo said. "Even after repeated bending andstraightening of the nanotubes, they did not break. In fact, we have neverobserved a tube fail after repeated bending."

The unique nanoManipulator combines a commercially available atomicforce microscope with a force-feedback virtual reality system. The formeremploys an atomically small probe capable of bending and otherwise manipulatingmolecule-sized particles. The latter allows the scientists to see and feel arepresentation of the surface a million times bigger than its actual size.

Carbon fibers already are used in graphite composite tennis rackets andother products because of their strength and lightness, Falvo said. The UNC-CHexperiments indicate that carbon nanotubes are significantly stronger thancarbon fibers and hundreds of times stronger than steel.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "UNC-CH Study Shows Carbon Nanotubes Display Remarkable Strength, Flexibility." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 October 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/10/971009063549.htm>.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (1997, October 9). UNC-CH Study Shows Carbon Nanotubes Display Remarkable Strength, Flexibility. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/10/971009063549.htm
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "UNC-CH Study Shows Carbon Nanotubes Display Remarkable Strength, Flexibility." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/10/971009063549.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Drone King Says the Revolution Depends on Regulators

China's Drone King Says the Revolution Depends on Regulators

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Comparing his current crop of drones to early personal computers, DJI founder Frank Wang says the industry is poised for a growth surge - assuming regulators in more markets clear it for takeoff. Jon Gordon reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Reuters - US Online Video (July 29, 2014) Passengers stuck overnight on a whale watching boat return safely to Boston. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins