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Carbon Nanotube Membranes Allow Super-fast Fluid Flow

Date:
November 4, 2005
Source:
University of Kentucky
Summary:
Membranes made with carbon nanotubes permit a fluid flow of 10,000 to 100,000 times the speed that conventional fluid flow theory would predict, researchers at the University of Kentucky report in the Nov. 3 issue of Nature. They attribute the speed to the nearly friction-free surface of carbon nanotubes.

Illustration of a carbon nanotube membrane.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Kentucky

Membranes composed of manmade carbon nanotubes permit a fluid flow nearly 10,000 to 100,000 times faster than conventional fluid flow theory would predict because of the nanotubes' nearly friction-free surface, researchers at the University of Kentucky report in the Nov. 3 issue of Nature.

In their study, Mainak Majumder, Nitin Chopra and Bruce J. Hinds of UK's Chemical and Materials Engineering Department, and Rodney Andrews of UK's Center for Applied Energy Research found the flow dynamics of carbon nanotube (CNT) membranes with pores measuring 7 nanometers in diameter permit a fluid flow exceeded the flows predicted by conventional hydrodynamic predictions.

In their study "Enhanced Flow in Carbon Nanotubes," the researchers note an "aligned CNT membrane has fast transit approaching the extraordinary speed of biological channels. The membrane fabrication is scalable to large areas, allowing for industrially useful chemical separations.

"(E)ach side of the membrane can be independently functionalized. These advantages make the aligned CNT membrane a promising large-area platform to mimic protein channels for sophisticated chemical separations, trans-dermal drug delivery and selective chemical sensing," the researchers say.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Kentucky. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Kentucky. "Carbon Nanotube Membranes Allow Super-fast Fluid Flow." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 November 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051104085644.htm>.
University of Kentucky. (2005, November 4). Carbon Nanotube Membranes Allow Super-fast Fluid Flow. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051104085644.htm
University of Kentucky. "Carbon Nanotube Membranes Allow Super-fast Fluid Flow." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051104085644.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

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