Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Nanotube production leaps from sooty mess in test tube to ready formed chemical microsensors

06.05.2008
Carbon nanotubes’ potential as a super material is blighted by the fact that when first made they often take the form of an unprepossessing pile of sooty black mess in the bottom of a test tube.

Now researchers in the University of Warwick’s Department of Chemistry have found a way of producing carbon nanotubes in which they instantly form a highly sensitive ready made electric circuit.

The research has just been published in a paper entitled "Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Network Ultramicroelectrodes" by University of Warwick researchers Ioana Dumitrescu, Professor Julie Macpherson, Professor Patrick Unwin, and Neil Wilson in Analytical Chemistry, 2008, 10.1021/ac702518g

The researchers used a form of chemical vapour deposition and lithography to create the ready made disc shaped single walled carbon nanotube based ultramicroelectrodes. The nanotubes deposit themselves flat on a surface in a random but relatively even manner. They also all overlap sufficiently to create a single complete metallic micro-circuit right across the final disc. What is even more impressive is that they take up less than one per cent of the surface area of the disc.

... more about:
»Catalysis »Nanotube »Tube »ultramicroelecrodes

This final property makes these instant ultramicroelecrodes particular useful for the creation of ultra sensitive sensors. The low surface area of the conducting part of the disc means that they can be used to screen out background "noise" and cope with low signal to noise ratios making them up to 1000 times more sensitive than conventional ultramicroelecrodes sensors. This property also produces very fast response times allowing them to respond ten times faster than conventional ultramicroelecrodes.

As these ready made ultramicroelecrodes are carbon based they also open up a range of new possibilities for use in living systems. The biocompatibility of carbon is in stark contrast with the obvious problems that platinum and other metal based probes can pose for living tissue. The Warwick research team are already beginning to explore how their single walled carbon nanotube based ultramicroelecrodes can be used to measure levels of neurotransmitters.

The new ultramicroelecrodes also open up interesting possibilities for catalysis in fuel cells. Up till now researchers had been aware that this form of carbon nanotubes appeared to be particularly useful in the area of catalysis but there was uncertainty as to whether it was the properties of the carbon nanotubes per se that provide this benefit or whether it was due to impurities in their production. The researchers have been able to use this new method of single walled carbon nanotube assembly to prove that it is actually the properties of the carbon nanotubes themselves that are useful for catalysis.

The new carbon nanotube assembly technique brings a further benefit to catalysis applications as the Warwick researchers have been able to use electrodepoistion to quickly and easily apply specific metal coatings to the ready formed single walled carbon nanotube microelectrode networks. This will be of significant benefit to anyone wanting to use single walled carbon nanotube for catalysis in fuel cell technology.

Peter Dunn | alfa
Further information:
http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/nanotube_production_leaps/

Further reports about: Catalysis Nanotube Tube ultramicroelecrodes

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>