Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Taming carbon nanotubes

Date:
April 7, 2011
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
Carbon nanotubes have many attractive properties, and their structure and areas of application can be compared with those of graphene, the material for whose discovery the most recent Nobel Prize was awarded. In order to be able to exploit these properties, however, it is necessary to have full control of the manufacturing process. Scientists are now closing in on the answer.

Carbon nanotubes have many attractive properties, and their structure and areas of application can be compared with those of graphene, the material for whose discovery the most recent Nobel Prize was awarded. In order to be able to exploit these properties, however, it is necessary to have full control of the manufacturing process. Scientists at the University of Gothenburg are closing in on the answer.

"Our results show that the metal particles that form the basis of the manufacture of carbon nanotubes must have a certain minimum size, in order for growth to start and to continue. It is also probable that the particles are in liquid form at a manufacturing temperature of around 800 °C, even though the metals used may have much higher melting points," says Anders Börjesson from the Department of Physics at the University of Gothenburg.

The scientists have used various computer models to study in detail properties that are difficult or impossible to examine in experimental conditions. Only when we fully understand the manufacturing process will we be able to exploit this material fully.

The diameter of the nanotubes is of the order of one billionth of a metre, and they can be as thin as a single carbon layer. The length of the tubes, in contrast, can extend from the nanometre scale up to several decimetres. Carbon nanotubes can be regarded, quite simply, as thin threads of pure carbon, whose length can be a billion times greater than their thickness.

Interest for nanotubes is based on their outstanding properties: they are among the strongest materials known and have extremely high conductivity for both electric current and heat.

The strength can be used to reinforce other materials, just as the strength of glass and carbon fibres is used in plastics, and steel reinforcement is used in concrete. Carbon nanotubes, however, would enable plastics to be manufactured that are ten times stronger than the strongest materials available today. Such materials could be used not only in exclusive sports equipment but also in the construction of buildings that appear to come from science fiction: a lift between Earth and space could be anchored using a material based on nanotubes.

The carbon nanotubes may also replace other material when it comes to conducting very high electrical currents, since they do not become hot, nor do they catch fire. Certain nanotubes have semiconducting properties and could be used to build nanoelectronic circuits, giving much smaller and faster processors to be used in computers.

One way of combining the strength and electrical properties of the carbon nanotubes would be to mix them with polymer material, and by weaving threads that also contain electronic circuits. It would be possible, for example, to weave instruments for monitoring heart function directly into clothes.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Taming carbon nanotubes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110207103521.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2011, April 7). Taming carbon nanotubes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110207103521.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Taming carbon nanotubes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110207103521.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) — It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

TheStreet (Apr. 16, 2014) — The Porsche Spyder 918 proves that, in an automotive world obsessed with fuel efficiency, the supercar is not dead. Porsche North America CEO Detlev von Platen attributes the brand's consistent sales growth -- 21% in 2013 -- with an investment in new technology and expanded performance dynamics. The hybrid Spyder 918 has 887 horsepower and 944 lb-ft of torque, but it can run 18 miles on just an electric charge. The $845,000 vehicle is not a consumer-targeted vehicle but a brand statement. Video provided by TheStreet
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