Study significantly advances alignment of single-wall carbon nanotubes along common axis | 10/9/2019 | Staff
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A University of Wyoming researcher and his team have shown, for the first time, the ability to globally align single-wall carbon nanotubes along a common axis. This discovery can be valuable in many areas of technology, such as electronics, optics, composite materials, nanotechnology and other applications of materials science.

"Unlike previous efforts to align nanotubes using nanotube solution filtration, we created an automated system that could create multiple aligned films at one time," says William Rice, an assistant professor in UW's Department of Physics and Astronomy. "Automating the filtration system also had the effect that we could precisely control the filtration flow rate, which produced higher alignment."

Rice - Author - Paper - Alignment - Carbon

Rice was corresponding author of a paper, titled "Global Alignment of Solution-Based, Single-Wall Carbon Nanotube Films via Machine-Vision Controlled Filtration," which was published Oct. 9 in the print version of Nano Letters, an international journal that reports on fundamental and applied research in all branches of nanoscience and nanotechnology. An online version of the paper appeared last month.

Joshua Walker, a third-year physics Ph.D. student from Cheyenne, was the paper's lead author. Valerie Kuehl, a third-year Ph.D. chemistry student from Beulah, Colo., was a contributing author of the paper.

Carbon - Nanotubes - Crystals - Layer - Graphite

Single-wall carbon nanotubes are one-dimensional crystals formed by wrapping a single layer of graphite, often called graphene, into a nanoscopic cylinder. They are 0.5 to 1.5 nanometers in diameter and range from 200 to 10,000 nanometers in length. One nanometer is one-billionth of a meter.

Because of this unique geometry, carbon nanotubes can either be metals or semiconductors, depending on how the graphene is wrapped, Rice explains. Carbon nanotubes can exhibit remarkable electrical conductivity, and they possess exceptional tensile strength and thermal conductivity.

Carbon - Nanotubes - Polarizers - Strain - Materials

"Aligned carbon nanotubes have the potential to act as excellent optical polarizers, which are important for optically determining strain in materials. For example, if you...
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