Related topics: solar cells · carbon · graphene · nano letters · carbon atoms

Discovery challenges accepted rule of organic solar cell design

Solar cells that use mixtures of organic molecules to absorb sunlight and convert it to electricity, that can be applied to curved surfaces such as the body of a car, could be a step closer thanks to a discovery that challenges ...

Engineers build advanced microprocessor out of carbon nanotubes

After years of tackling numerous design and manufacturing challenges, MIT researchers have built a modern microprocessor from carbon nanotube transistors, which are widely seen as a faster, greener alternative to their traditional ...

Researchers create breathalyzer that can detect marijuana

As recreational marijuana legalization becomes more widespread throughout the U.S., so has concern about what that means for enforcing DUI laws. Unlike a breathalyzer used to detect alcohol, police do not have a device that ...

A single-photon source you can make with household bleach

Quantum computing and quantum cryptography are expected to give much higher capabilities than their classical counterparts. For example, the computation power in a quantum system may grow at a double exponential rate instead ...

Neural networks will help manufacture carbon nanotubes

Thin films made of carbon nanotubes hold a lot of promise for advanced optoelectronics, energy and medicine, however with their manufacturing process subject to close supervision and stringent standardization requirements, ...

Lab produces simple fluorescent surfactants

Laboratories use surfactants to separate things, and fluorescent dyes to see things. Rice University chemists have combined the two to simplify life for scientists everywhere.

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Carbon nanotube

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are allotropes of carbon with a cylindrical nanostructure. Nanotubes have been constructed with length-to-diameter ratio of up to 28,000,000:1, which is significantly larger than any other material. These cylindrical carbon molecules have novel properties that make them potentially useful in many applications in nanotechnology, electronics, optics and other fields of materials science, as well as potential uses in architectural fields. They exhibit extraordinary strength and unique electrical properties, and are efficient conductors of heat. Their final usage, however, may be limited by their potential toxicity.

Nanotubes are members of the fullerene structural family, which also includes the spherical buckyballs. The ends of a nanotube might be capped with a hemisphere of the buckyball structure. Their name is derived from their size, since the diameter of a nanotube is on the order of a few nanometers (approximately 1/50,000th of the width of a human hair), while they can be up to several millimeters in length (as of 2008). Nanotubes are categorized as single-walled nanotubes (SWNTs) and multi-walled nanotubes (MWNTs).

The nature of the bonding of a nanotube is described by applied quantum chemistry, specifically, orbital hybridization. The chemical bonding of nanotubes is composed entirely of sp2 bonds, similar to those of graphite. This bonding structure, which is stronger than the sp3 bonds found in diamonds, provides the molecules with their unique strength. Nanotubes naturally align themselves into "ropes" held together by Van der Waals forces. Under high pressure, nanotubes can merge together, trading some sp² bonds for sp³ bonds, giving the possibility of producing strong, unlimited-length wires through high-pressure nanotube linking.

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