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 | Source: American Physical Society
Further information: www.aps.org
More articles from Physics and Astronomy:
3D printing used as a tool to explain theoretical physics
09.12.2013 | Institute of Physics
Three-dimensional view helps laser in building new molecules
06.12.2013 | Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik
In power electronics systems bonded connections create the central electrical connections between adjoining surfaces.
The quality of these bonded connections is one of the main factors that determines the reliability and availability of drive systems in electric vehicles, and hence constitutes a major design challenge for German auto manufacturers aiming to electrify their vehicles.
Now the partners participating in the RoBE (Robust Bonds in ...
International team of scientists develops new feedback method for optimizing the laser pulse shapes used in the control of chemical reactions
In many ways, traditional chemical synthesis is similar to cooking. To alter the final product, you can change the ingredients or their ratio, change the method of mixing ingredients, or change the temperature or pressure of the environment of the ingredients.
Like an accomplished chef, chemists have become very skilled ...
A genetic defect protects mice from infection with influenza viruses
A new study published in the scientific journal PLOS Pathogens points out that mice lacking a protein called Tmprss2 are no longer affected by certain flu viruses.
The discovery was made by researchers from the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig in collaboration with colleagues from Göttingen and ...
The Light: Global study gets underway with online user survey
Light has a fundamental impact on our sense of well-being and performance. In cooperation with Zumtobel, a supplier of lighting solutions, Fraunhofer IAO has launched a global user survey of lighting quality in offices. The objective is to identify the best lighting conditions for a variety of spaces and lighting ...
Quantum entanglement, a perplexing phenomenon of quantum mechanics that Albert Einstein once referred to as “spooky action at a distance,” could be even spookier than Einstein perceived.
Physicists at the University of Washington and Stony Brook University in New York believe the phenomenon might be intrinsically linked with wormholes, hypothetical features of space-time that in popular science fiction can provide a much-faster-than-light shortcut from one part of the universe to another.
But here’s the catch: One couldn’t actually ...
09.12.2013 | Materials Sciences
09.12.2013 | Life Sciences
09.12.2013 | Studies and Analyses
05.12.2013 | Event News
04.12.2013 | Event News
12.11.2013 | Event News