Rice, UIUC researchers find way to separate metallic, non-metallic nanotubes
Researchers at Rice University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered the first method to chemically select and separate carbon nanotubes based on their electronic structure. The new process, described in the Sept. 12 issue of Science magazine, represents a fundamental shift in the way scientists think about the chemistry of carbon nanotubes.
"Other than low-cost mass production, theres no bigger hurdle to overcome in carbon nanotechnology than finding a reliable, affordable means of sorting single-walled carbon nanotubes," said Richard Smalley, University Professor and director of Rices Carbon Nanotechnology Laboratory. "If we can develop new technology based on electronic sorting and reliably separate metallic nanotubes from semi-metallic and semi-conducting varieties, well have a terrific tool for nanoscience."
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