Researchers Grow 7 mm Carbon Nanotube Array

Nov 29, 2006
Researchers Grow 7 mm Carbon Nanotube Array
The nanotube array alone on its substrate. Credit: University of Cincinnati

Nanotechnology revolves around the creation of technology — films, materials, devices, applications and systems — on a scale of 1–100 nanometers. But what is a nanometer? A nanometer is one billionth of a meter or 40 billionths of an inch. A human hair is between 50 and 100 microns wide — and a micron is 1,000 nanometers. A DNA molecule is about 2½ nanometers wide. A typical human hair is between 50,000 and 100,000 nanometers wide. So, we could stack at least 1000 nano-devices across the end of a human hair.

It might sound like an oxymoron, but long nanotubes are critical to manufacturers and practitioners in such fields as transportation, defense, safety and medicine. Because of their increased surface area, large nanotube arrays offer improvements in sensors. Larger nanotubes can be “spun” — or suspended in an epoxy-like substrate — and used to strengthen materials used in airplanes, for example.

Like your great-grandmother’s yarn, the longer a continuous thread, the better. In conjunction with First Nano (FN), a division of CVD Equipment Corporation, UC has grown an array on FN’s EasyTube Carbon Nanotube system that is longer than 7 mm.

Researchers Grow 7 mm Carbon Nanotube Array

“The harmonious combination of substrate, alloy catalyst and process conditions was found to consistently produce nanotube arrays more than 7 mm long” says Professor Vesselin Shanov, co-director of Smart Materials Nanotechnology Laboratory at the University of Cincinnati (UC).

“First Nano and UC have collaborated in the past and are planning on future collaboration to scale up production of nanotube arrays for applications that man has only dreamed of, like a super-strong cable for a space elevator and featherweight composite materials for sporting goods, aircraft structures, armor and many more uses.”

Leonard Rosenbaum, President and Chief Executive Officer of CVD Equipment Corporation states, “We look forward to continuing our relationship with the University of Cincinnati to bring this technology from the laboratory into full-scale production.”

The recent breakthroughs at the University of Cincinnati and CVD Equipment Corporation (of Ronkonkoma, New York), have led to the growth of large carbon nanotube arrays. While individual carbon nanotubes are only 20 billionths of a meter in diameter, the array of carbon nanotubes grow as millimeter-long dense forests on centimeter-wide substrates.

Years of research by UC’s Shanov, Schulz and students Andrew Gorton and Yun YeoHeung led to the invention of the method for growing the large nanotube arrays. Researchers and engineers at CVD Equipment Corporation developed and built the equipment used to grow the large carbon nanotube arrays.

Source: University of Cincinnati, by Wendy Beckman

Explore further: Competition for graphene: Researchers demonstrate ultrafast charge transfer in new family of 2-D semiconductors

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Restaurants experimenting with pay-in-advance tickets

1 minute ago

With restaurant patrons increasingly jumping on the Internet to make reservations, some high-end eateries here and across the country are adding a new tech wrinkle: having their clientele pay for their meal in advance using ...

Recommended for you

Graphene reinvents the future

4 hours ago

For many scientists, the discovery of one-atom-thick sheets of graphene is hugely significant, something with the potential to affect just about every aspect of human activity and endeavour.

Catalytic gold nanoclusters promise rich chemical yields

Aug 25, 2014

(Phys.org) —Old thinking was that gold, while good for jewelry, was not of much use for chemists because it is relatively nonreactive. That changed a decade ago when scientists hit a rich vein of discoveries ...

Copper shines as flexible conductor

Aug 22, 2014

Bend them, stretch them, twist them, fold them: modern materials that are light, flexible and highly conductive have extraordinary technological potential, whether as artificial skin or electronic paper.

User comments : 0