Nanotubes, stringy supermolecules already used to create fuel cell batteries and tiny computer circuits, could find myriad new applications ranging from disease treatment to plastics manufacturing to information storage, reports a Purdue University research team.
A self-assembled rosette nanotube and its mirror image prepared in the Fenniri laboratory. These materials are now made with predefined chiroptical, physical and chemical properties. The Fenniri groups nanotubes promote their own formation and offer numerous potential applications.
(Purdue University Department of Chemistry)
Scientists led by Purdue chemist Hicham Fenniri have learned to create multiple species of nanotubes that possess unprecedented physical and chemical properties, each of which could lead to a different industrial application. Also unprecedented is the compete control they have over the nanotubes formation, which allows the team to virtually "dial up" the properties they wish their nanotubes to possess. The findings could greatly expand the materials available for use on the nanoscale.
"Instead of being limited to building blocks of one size, shape and color, its as though we now have a brickyard with many different varieties," Fenniri said. "This research could give a nanotechnologist a lot more materials for construction."
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