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February 3rd, 2004
Carbon Nanotube Gel
Carbon nanotube gel, the first example of a liquid crystalline material consisting of single-walled nanotubes, has been made by physicists at the University of Pennsylvania. Basically the gel is a mass of half-micron long nanotubes, aligned like little logs along a single direction, in a polymer matrix. The gel exhibits hallmark properties of a nematic liquid crystal (in which rod shaped molecules are aligned) including optical anisotropy (birefringence) and topological defects.
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