Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nanotube's 'Tapestry' Controls Its Growth

Date:
February 18, 2009
Source:
Rice University
Summary:
Materials scientists have put a new "twist" on carbon nanotube growth. The researchers found nanotubes grow like tiny molecular tapestries, woven from twisting, single-atom threads. The research finds a direct relationship between a nanotube's "chiral" angle -- the amount it's twisted -- and how fast it grows.

A new theory suggests nanotubes are 'woven' from twisting carbon threads.
Credit: Morteza Bankehsaz/Rice University

Rice University materials scientists have put a new "twist" on carbon nanotube growth. The researchers found the highly touted nanomaterials grow like tiny molecular tapestries, woven from twisting, single-atom threads.

Carbon nanotubes are hollow tubes of pure carbon that measure about one nanometer, or one-billionth of a meter, in diameter. In molecular diagrams, they look like rolled-up sheets of chicken wire. And just like a roll of wire or gift-wrapping paper, nanotubes can be rolled at an odd angle with excess hanging off the end.

Though nanotubes are much-studied, their growth is poorly understood. They grow by "self assembly," forming spontaneously from gaseous carbon feedstock under precise catalytic circumstances. The new research, which appears online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds a direct relationship between a nanotube's "chiral" angle -- the amount it's twisted -- and how fast it grows.

"Our study offers some clues about this intimate 'self assembly' process," said Rice's Boris Yakobson, professor in mechanical engineering and materials science and of chemistry. New theory suggests that each tube is 'woven' from many twisting threads. Each grows independently, with new atoms attaching themselves to the exposed thread ends. The more threads there are, the faster the whole tapestry grows.

Yakobson, the lead researcher on the project, said the new formula's predictions have been borne out by a number of laboratory reports. For example, the formula predicts that nanotubes with the largest chiral angle will grow fastest because they have the most exposed threads -- something that's been shown in several experiments.

"Chirality is one of the primary determinants of a nanotube's properties," said Yakobson. "Our approach reveals quantitatively the role that chirality plays in growth, which is of great interest to all who hope to incorporate nanotubes into new technologies."

The study was co-authored by former Rice research scientist Feng Ding, now assistant professor at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and Avetik Harutyunyan of the Honda Research Institute USA in Columbus, Ohio. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation, the Welch Foundation and the Department of Defense.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Rice University. "Nanotube's 'Tapestry' Controls Its Growth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090205113740.htm>.
Rice University. (2009, February 18). Nanotube's 'Tapestry' Controls Its Growth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090205113740.htm
Rice University. "Nanotube's 'Tapestry' Controls Its Growth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090205113740.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 20, 2014) Forget rolling on rubber, could car drivers soon be traveling on tires made from dandelions? Teams of scientists are racing to breed a type of the yellow flower whose taproot has a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. As Joanna Partridge reports, global tire makers are investing millions in research into a new tire source. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) A solar cell that resembles a flower is offering a new take on green energy in Japan, where one scientist is searching for renewables that look good. Duration: 01:29 Video provided by AFP
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