Carbon nanotubes have long been touted as the wonder material of the future. Applications cited for carbon nanotubes range from super fast computers and ultra small electronics through to materials that are lightweight yet super strong and tougher than diamond.
Several techniques have been devised for producing carbon nanotubes but, getting these materials and devices from the laboratory to the marketplace is obstructed by one inherent problem. Scaling up laboratory production techniques to produce commercial quantities of high quality, high purity carbon nanotubes is a difficult process. But this is set to change with another type of recently discovered nanotube currently under investigation.
This promising new material is molybdenum-sulfur-iodine nanowires. Researchers from Jožef Stefan Institute have investigated the atomic and electronic structure of molybdenum-sulfur-iodine molecular nanowires as well as their basic transport, optical and mechanical properties. The research has now been published in a special edition of the open access journal, AZoJono and can be accessed in its entirety at http://www.azonano.com/Details.asp?ArticleID=2039.
This special edition of AZoJono* features a number of papers from DESYGN-IT, the project seeking to secure Europe as the international scientific leader in the design, synthesis, growth, characterisation and applications of nanotubes, nanowires and nanotube arrays for industrial technology.
The research team of D. Dvorsek, D. Vengust, V. Nicolosi, W.J. Blau, J.C. Coleman and D. Mihailovic found that the material also known as MoSIx nanowires was relatively easy to synthesise and disperse making it highly suited to commercialisation. The properties of the nanowires point to them being suited for use in applications such as battery electrodes, tribology and field emission displays. Ongoing research will look at growth mechanisms, stoichiometry control, magnetoelasticity and electrostrictive properties.
Ian Birkby | EurekAlert!
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The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.
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Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.
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After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.
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