North Carolina scientists have found that "thinnest" is not necessarily "best" in rating structure and function of carbon nanotubes, the molecule-sized cylinders that show promise for futuristic technology scaled at a billionths of a meter.
During an American Chemical Society national meeting, researchers at Duke University and Xintek, Inc. of Research Triangle Park, N.C., will report on the synthesis and testing of a new class of nanotubes made up of two to five layers of carbon atoms. The scientists find these "few-walled" carbon nanotubes are structurally nearly as perfect as one carbon atom thick "single-walled" carbon nanotubes, while being cheaper to make than their single-walled cousins, said Duke assistant chemistry professor Jie Liu Liu and his colleagues discovered how to create the tubes within heated streams of alcohol and hydrogen.
Moreover, tests by Lius collaborators at Xintek found that few-walled nanotubes can be made to spew out electrons with better performance than current commercial carbon nanotubes, Liu added.
Monte Basgall | EurekAlert!
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