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May 29th, 2007
Nanocomposites from bubbles
Nanotubes and nanowires could be used in materials and devices by blowing them into bubble films, a process so cheap it is used to make bin bags.
Charles Lieber of Harvard University, US, and colleagues have found an efficient new way to add nanowires or nanotubes into polymer films. Unlike other techniques, which tend to give films of nanoparticle clumps, the resulting material has nanoparticles evenly aligned and distributed through the film.
'Nanocomposites are made currently by very exotic techniques like wet spinning,' Alan Dalton, an expert in nanomaterials at the University of Surrey, UK, told Chemistry World. 'The main breakthrough here is that very large assemblies can be made, very easily and very cheaply,' he said.
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