“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 the 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.
The thesis In Silco Studies of Carbon Nanotubes and Metal Clusters (Beräkningsstudier av kolnanorör och metallkluster)has been successfully defended. Supervisor: Professor Kim Bolton. The research has been a collaboration between the University of Gothenburg and the University of Borås.Contact:
Atomic structure of ultrasound material not what anyone expected
21.02.2018 | North Carolina State University
Hidden talents: Converting heat into electricity with pencil and paper
20.02.2018 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
22.02.2018 | Life Sciences
22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences