Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Researchers help sort out the carbon nanotube problem

Researchers help sort out the carbon nanotube problem

July 27, 2005

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and university researchers report a significant step toward sorting out the nanotube “problem” - the challenge of overcoming processing obstacles so that the remarkable properties of the tiny cylindrical structures can be exploited in new polymer composite materials of exceptional strength.

As described in the July 15 issue of Physical Review Letters, (1) their analysis reveals that, during mixing, carbon nanotubes suspended in viscous fluids can be encouraged to sort themselves by length. Achieving uniform sizes of nanotubes is one of several keys to producing affordable, high-quality polymer nanocomposites.

NIST - carbon nanotubes flowing in a polymer
Small- angle neutron scattering pattern provides an inverted representation of how carbon nanotubes flowing in a polymer melt sort themselves by length. Longer nanotubes, which scatter neutrons at lower angles, gather in purple regions, while medium-sized and short nanotubes are indicated by red and yellow, respectively. The dark blue circle in the center of the image is the beam stop, which protects the sensitive detector from the transmitted beam of unscattered neutrons.. Copyright © NIST
Click on image for larger version.

The team found that, under common processing conditions, shorter carbon nanotubes will flow toward the walls of mixing equipment, while the longer tubes tend to congregate in the interior.

Better understanding of factors that promote this self-sorting will point the way to process adjustments and devices that achieve desired arrangements of nanotubes during bulk manufacturing of polymer nanocomposites, says NIST’s Erik Hobbie, leader of the collaboration, which included scientists from the University of Kentucky and Michigan Technical University.

Many times stronger than steel and possessing superlative thermal, optical and electronic properties, nanotubes have been called small-scale wonders, measuring a few nanometers in diameter and ranging greatly in length. Anticipated nanotube-based technologies range from hydrogen storage to transistors to space elevators. Nearest on the horizon are light-weight, high-strength carbon nanotube polymer structural composites.

With lasers, video microscopes and other optical monitoring equipment, the team tracked how nanotubes - both the single-wall and multiwall varieties - behave when suspended, at several different concentrations, in a polymer melt. They analyzed suspensions ranging in viscosity from syrup-like to watery under different mixing conditions.

The results did not suggest a “magic bullet” for getting nanotubes to align uniformly in the same direction - also critical to reliable processing of high-quality nanocomposites. But the finding that, under "modest flow conditions," carbon nanotubes will sort by length could point the way to practical methods for bulk separation of nanotubes according to size.

Further information on nanotube-related research can be found at the Polymers Division Web site at www.nist.gov/polymers.

(1) D. Fry, B. Langhorst, H. Kim, E. Grulke, H. Wang, E.K. Hobbie. Anisotropy of sheared carbon nanotube suspensions. Physical Review Letters, 95, 038304 (July 15, 2005).

####

Contact:
Mark Bello
mark.bello@nist.gov
301-975-3776

Copyright © National Institute of Standards and Technology

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Possible Futures

Chemical cages: New technique advances synthetic biology February 10th, 2016

New thin film transistor may lead to flexible devices: Researchers engineer an electronics first, opening door to flexible electronics February 10th, 2016

Electron's 1-D metallic surface state observed: A step for the prediction of electronic properties of extremely-fine metal nanowires in next-generation semiconductors February 9th, 2016

A fast solidification process makes material crackle February 8th, 2016

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

Superconductivity: Footballs with no resistance - Indications of light-induced lossless electricity transmission in fullerenes contribute to the search for superconducting materials for practical applications February 9th, 2016

The iron stepping stones to better wearable tech without semiconductors February 8th, 2016

Nano-coating makes coaxial cables lighter: Rice University scientists replace metal with carbon nanotubes for aerospace use January 28th, 2016

Scientists provide new guideline for synthesis of fullerene electron acceptors January 28th, 2016

Discoveries

Research reveals carbon films can give microchips energy storage capability: International team from Drexel University and Paul Sabatier University reveals versatility of carbon films February 11th, 2016

Canadian Scientists Develop Innovative Protein Test for Zika February 11th, 2016

Creating a color printer that uses a colorless, non-toxic ink inspired by nature February 11th, 2016

SLAC X-ray laser turns crystal imperfections into better images of important biomolecules: New method could remove major obstacles to studying structures of complex biological machines February 11th, 2016

Announcements

Research reveals carbon films can give microchips energy storage capability: International team from Drexel University and Paul Sabatier University reveals versatility of carbon films February 11th, 2016

Creating a color printer that uses a colorless, non-toxic ink inspired by nature February 11th, 2016

SLAC X-ray laser turns crystal imperfections into better images of important biomolecules: New method could remove major obstacles to studying structures of complex biological machines February 11th, 2016

Nanoparticle reduces targeted cancer drug's toxicity February 11th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic