Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New colossal carbon tubes created, and flipping spins at the speed limit

Colossal Carbon Tubes leave Kevlar and Nanotubes in the Dust H. Peng, D. Chen, J.-Y. Huang, S. B. Chikkannanavar, J. Hänisch, M. Jain, D. E. Peterson, S. K. Doorn, Y. Lu, Y. T. Zhu, and Q. X. Jia Physical Review Letters (forthcoming)

A collaboration of Chinese and American physicists has discovered a way to make a new carbon structure that could lead to fabrics 30 times stronger than Kevlar and 224 times stronger than cotton. The group dubbed the structures colossal carbon tubes because they're thousands of times larger than carbon nanotubes. At 40-100 millionths of a meter across and centimeters long, they're comparable in size to typical cotton fibers.

The structures consist of nested inner and outer tubes separated by hollow channels, making the tubes both light and strong. While they are nowhere near as strong as carbon nanotubes, the colossal tubes are much more ductile than the nanoscopic variety, making them more suited for spinning into threads and weaving into fabrics. The colossal tubes conduct electricity and show some of the properties of semiconductors, which means that they could lead to novel microelectronic components as well as super strong cloth.

The details regarding how the intricate structures form is still hazy, but the researchers propose that colossal carbon tubes could be incorporated into improved body armor, stronger carbon fiber composites (which are often shaped into parts for high-performance and lightweight vehicles), or components in microelectronics and tiny machines.

Spin Flips Hit the Speed Limit
S. Serrano-Guisan, K. Rott, G. Reiss, J. Langer, B. Ocker, and H.W. Schumacher Physical Review Letters (forthcoming)

A team of physicists at Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt in Germany has managed to flip a nanoscopic magnet as fast as the fundamental speed limit allows. Their experiment consisted of two stacked layers of tiny magnets separated by a thin barrier to form what is called a magnetic tunnel junction. Such magnetic tunneling junctions are promising candidates for future magnetic memory chips.

The researchers allowed electrons aligned in a special way to flow between the layers, developing a spin torque, or twisting force that is transferred from one layer of nanomagnet onto the other. This torque pumps enough energy to the nanomagnet to make it move faster and faster until it changes direction. Several measurements showed that the researchers were able to switch the direction of magnetization as fast as physically possible.

Their spin torque record is important for the next generation of low current, ultra fast magnetic memory chips and sensors. This new generation of electronics encodes information in an electronic spin, rather than in an electronic charge. The spin torque switching effect is a powerful new approach to controlling electronic spins.

James Riordon | American Physical Society
Further information:

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Tracking down the 'missing' carbon from the Martian atmosphere
25.11.2015 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Iowa State astronomers say comet fragments best explanation of mysterious dimming star
25.11.2015 | Iowa State University

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Innovative Photovoltaics – from the Lab to the Façade

Fraunhofer ISE Demonstrates New Cell and Module Technologies on its Outer Building Façade

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has installed 70 photovoltaic modules on the outer façade of one of its lab buildings. The modules were...

Im Focus: Lactate for Brain Energy

Nerve cells cover their high energy demand with glucose and lactate. Scientists of the University of Zurich now provide new support for this. They show for the first time in the intact mouse brain evidence for an exchange of lactate between different brain cells. With this study they were able to confirm a 20-year old hypothesis.

In comparison to other organs, the human brain has the highest energy requirements. The supply of energy for nerve cells and the particular role of lactic acid...

Im Focus: Laser process simulation available as app for first time

In laser material processing, the simulation of processes has made great strides over the past few years. Today, the software can predict relatively well what will happen on the workpiece. Unfortunately, it is also highly complex and requires a lot of computing time. Thanks to clever simplification, experts from Fraunhofer ILT are now able to offer the first-ever simulation software that calculates processes in real time and also runs on tablet computers and smartphones. The fast software enables users to do without expensive experiments and to find optimum process parameters even more effectively.

Before now, the reliable simulation of laser processes was a job for experts. Armed with sophisticated software packages and after many hours on computer...

Im Focus: Quantum Simulation: A Better Understanding of Magnetism

Heidelberg physicists use ultracold atoms to imitate the behaviour of electrons in a solid

Researchers at Heidelberg University have devised a new way to study the phenomenon of magnetism. Using ultracold atoms at near absolute zero, they prepared a...

Im Focus: Climate Change: Warm water is mixing up life in the Arctic

AWI researchers’ unique 15-year observation series reveals how sensitive marine ecosystems in polar regions are to change

The warming of arctic waters in the wake of climate change is likely to produce radical changes in the marine habitats of the High North. This is indicated by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

Fraunhofer’s Urban Futures Conference: 2 days in the city of the future

25.11.2015 | Event News

Gluten oder nicht Gluten? Überempfindlichkeit auf Weizen kann unterschiedliche Ursachen haben

17.11.2015 | Event News

Art Collection Deutsche Börse zeigt Ausstellung „Traces of Disorder“

21.10.2015 | Event News

Latest News

Harnessing a peptide holds promise for increasing crop yields without more fertilizer

25.11.2015 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Earth's magnetic field is not about to flip

25.11.2015 | Earth Sciences

Tracking down the 'missing' carbon from the Martian atmosphere

25.11.2015 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>