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Nanotubes

Striking tones can be generated by vertical arrays of nanotubes, called forests (Photo: UT...

It is known that intense sound can be produced by electrically-powered nanotubes stretched into sheets, but researchers from University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) have furthered this principle by arranging sheets of carbon nanotubes into "forests" which produce high-quality sound when struck with lasers. This is an exciting advancement in the field of acoustics since it is thought these forests could be used to form invisible wireless speakers that could be embedded into walls, windows, computer screens, cars - the list is endless.  Read More

A diamond-based nanowire device (Illustrated by Jay Penni)

Current computers operate using binary coding; thousands to trillions of small electrical circuits representing a binary digit (bit) of information that represent a "1" when the circuit is switched on and a "0" when switched off by means of an electronic switch. The future of computing is to move this to a quantum scale, where the weird properties of subatomic particles can be used to create much faster computers. A new device developed by Harvard scientists which uses nanostructured diamond wire to provide a bright, stable source of single photons at room temperature represents a breakthrough in making this quantum technology a reality.  Read More

The key ingredient in the process is carbon nanotubes — submicroscopic hollow tubes made...

MIT scientists have discovered that a moving pulse of heat traveling along the miniscule wires known as carbon nanotubes can cause powerful waves of energy. These "thermopower waves" can drive electrons along like a collection of flotsam propelled along the surface of ocean waves, creating an electrical current. The previously unknown phenomenon opens up a new area of energy research and could lead to a new way of producing electricity.  Read More

A piece of the boron-nitride nanotube yarn

Not satisfied with your Kevlar body armor? Well, you may be in luck. American researchers have used lasers to create the world’s first practical macroscopic yarns from boron nitride fibers. The development could unlock the potential of the material for a wide variety of applications, including radiation-shielding for spacecraft, solar energy collection, and stronger body armor. If the supplied photo is anything to go by, it also does a great job at holding up a quarter.  Read More

Paper strips used in toxin detection with progressively increasing number of coatings with...

Engineers at the University of Michigan have developed a strip of paper infused with carbon nanotubes that can quickly and inexpensively detect a toxin produced by algae in drinking water. The paper strips perform 28 times faster than the complicated method most commonly used today to detect microcystin-LR, a chemical compound produced by the blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) commonly found on nutrient-rich waters. Microcystin-LR is among the leading causes of biological water pollution and is believed to be the culprit of many mass poisonings going back to early human history.  Read More

Researcher Bing Hu paints a small square of ordinary paper with an ink that will deposit n...

By dipping an ordinary piece of paper into ink infused with carbon nanotubes and silver nanowires, scientists have been able to create a low-cost battery or supercapacitor that is ultra-lightweight, bendable and very durable. The paper can be crumpled, folded or even soaked in acidic or basic solutions and still will work.  Read More

SEM image of carbon nanotube bundles (Image: Materialscientist via Wikipedia Commons)

Carbon nanotubes promise to revolutionize everything from medicine to electronics and power generation. Unfortunately nanotubes are notoriously hard to work with and chemists worldwide have struggled for years to even make them. Now researchers have unveiled a method for the industrial-scale processing of pure carbon nanotube fibers that builds upon the tried-and-true processes that chemical firms have used for decades to produce plastics.  Read More

Silicon nanotubes after ultrasonic treatment - inset is an expanded image of a single nano...

In news that could greatly extend the range of electric cars, researchers have shown that replacing the conventional graphite electrodes in lithium-ion batteries with silicon nanotubes can produce a battery that can store ten times more charge. The researchers developed a silicon anode that, aside from extending the range of electric cars, could also make gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles more efficient by allowing them to run in electric mode for longer periods.  Read More

Microcapsules filled with carbon nanotubes could be used to repair electronic circuits 
 (...

Dropping an electrical device such as a mobile phone or laptop can prompt a few anxious moments as you rush to see whether your beloved device has survived the fall. Now researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are working to make such incidents a little less distressing - they're developing a self-healing first-aid kit for electrical systems that could stop circuits failing and lead to safer, longer lasting batteries.  Read More

The carbon nanotube photodiode forces electrons one by one, resulting in much higher-effic...

Today's photovoltaic technology, while certainly promising, offers very poor efficiency because of inherent issues in its working mechanism. Using carbon nanotubes, however, Cornell University researchers now hope to lead the way to the next generation of highly efficient solar panels.  Read More

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