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March 12th, 2004

Nanotubes go to great lengths

Researchers at the University of Cambridge, UK, have spun fibres and ribbons of carbon nanotubes directly from the reaction zone of a furnace. They were able to wind up continuous fibre “without apparent limit to length”.
“Initially we were looking for high-efficiency methods of producing carbon nanotubes that could be scaled up commercially,” Alan Windle told “To this end, we focused on a vapour-phase synthesis route instead of involving substrates and surfaces. We then found that by thinking in terms of polymer technology we had the opportunity of withdrawing carbon nanotubes from the CVD furnace as a continuous fibre and winding this up.” (more on earlier article)


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