Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Stirring research provides recipe for nanotube success


If manufacturing is entering the "Golden Age" of nanotechnology, then carbon nanotubes are the "Golden Child." In recent years, these tubes of graphite many times thinner than a human hair have become a much-touted emerging technology because of their potential ability to add strength and other important properties to materials.

Adding carbon nanotubes to plastics and other polymers has potential to make automobile and airplane bodies stronger and lighter, and textiles more tear-resistant. And because of their electrical properties, carbon nanotubes also may be used to embed sensors in clothing for military and medical applications. By one estimate, the carbon nanotube market valued at approximately $12 million in 2002 could grow to $700 million by 2005.

One problem, however, is the nanotubes tend to clump together in certain applications. Just as an oil and water salad dressing must be shaken thoroughly to mix well, carbon nanotube formulations must be thoroughly blended to perform their best.

In a set of experiments reported in the Jan. 30 issue of Physical Review Letters, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have started to quantify both the problem and the solution. The scientists used a microscope and an "optical flow cell" to measure the force needed to mix different concentrations of nanotubes. Their findings suggest that flow conditions often encountered in the processing of carbon nanotube suspensions can actually have the opposite effect, leading to demixing. The effect is related directly to the long fiber-like structure of the nanotubes. Although this work only sets the stage for resolving what will be an important technological issue, the findings give researchers insight into how to process nanotubes more efficiently.

Scott Nance | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht From ancient fossils to future cars
21.10.2016 | University of California - Riverside

nachricht Study explains strength gap between graphene, carbon fiber
20.10.2016 | Rice University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>