Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Boston College scientists stretch carbon nanotubes

19.01.2006


Research may influence future development of semiconductors, nanocomposites



Physicists at Boston College have for the first time shown that carbon nanotubes can be stretched at high temperature to nearly four times their original length, a finding that could have implications for future semiconductor design as well as in the development of new nanocomposites.

Single-walled carbon nanotubes are tiny cylinders thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair but many times stronger than steel. The cylinders, which consist of carbon atoms interlinked in a hexagonal pattern, have novel properties that make them potentially useful in a wide range of applications.


At normal temperatures, carbon nanotubes snap when stretched to about 1.15 times their original length. But in a paper published in the Jan. 19, 2006, issue of the journal Nature, a team of physicists led by Boston College Research Associate Professor Jianyu Huang showed that at high temperatures nanotubes become extremely ductile. When heated to more than 2,000 degrees Celsius, one was stretched from 24 nanometres to 91 nanometres in length before it snapped.

The elongation was done by applying an electric current to the nanotube, which created a high temperature within the tiny structure and enabled the scientists to pull it like salt water taffy. Huang and his colleagues said their research indicates that nanotubes may be useful in strengthening ceramics and other nanocomposites at high temperatures.

At room temperature, a nanotube typically conducts electrons like a metal. But Huang said his team observed that when stretched under high temperature, a nanotube acts less like a metal and more like a semiconductor as the level of electrical current flowing through the structure falls. Huang said that raises the possibility that superplastic nanotubes could be used in developing new generations of computer chips.

Huang credited Boston College PhD student Shuo Chen with devising a special microscopic probe that allowed researchers to grab one end of the nanotube and stretch it while an electric current flowed through it. Other members of the team included Boston College physics faculty Zhifeng Ren, Ziqiang Wang and Kris Kempa; Boston College postdoctoral fellow Sung-Ho Jo; and professors Gang Chen and Mildred Dresselhaus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Dr. Morris Wang at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

Greg Frost | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bc.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Shape matters when light meets atom
05.12.2016 | Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore

nachricht Climate cycles may explain how running water carved Mars' surface features
02.12.2016 | Penn State

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: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

InLight study: insights into chemical processes using light

05.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>