Home > News > Junior R&D
July 8th, 2007
Philip Streich stared at the data for three weeks, but nothing made sense. Last summer he and his mentor, James Hamilton, a chemistry professor at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville, were trying to figure out how to dissolve carbon nanotubes, the tiny, superstrong supermaterial of the future. Then a lightbulb--no, a laser--came on.
Scientists have assumed for years that nanotubes were insoluble. If they were soluble, it would be easy to arrange them without clumping and losing their ultrastrong properties. Boeing (nyse: BA - news - people ), for one, would love to pour nanotubes into a mold to make an ultralight spaceship, or a bridge to the moon. Streich saw how. He read about a phenomenon called Debye light scattering, which permits the measuring of solubility from the intensity of light scattered by the solution.
Pouring nanotubes into a solution of N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone-, he shot the container with a laser beam, then counted the photons bouncing out with a spectrometer. No commercial instruments were sensitive enough for the task, so he built his own, using spare parts from the lab's reserves. The tests revealed the level at which nanotubes can be dissolved in liquid.
SouthWest NanoTechnologies CEO Dave Arthur to Discuss “Carbon Nanotubes and Automotive Applications” at The Automotive Composites Conference and Expo 2014 (ACCE2014) August 28th, 2014
Iranian Scientists Stabilize Protein on Highly Stable Electrode Surface August 14th, 2014
SouthWest NanoTechnologies Appoints Matteson-Ridolfi for U.S. Distribution of its SMW™ Specialty Multiwall Carbon Nanotubes August 13th, 2014
Immune cells get cancer-fighting boost from nanomaterials August 13th, 2014
Raman Whispering Gallery Detects Nanoparticles September 1st, 2014
A new, tunable device for spintronics: An international team of scientists including physicist Jairo Sinova from the University of Mainz realises a tunable spin-charge converter made of GaAs August 29th, 2014
Nanoscale assembly line August 29th, 2014
New analytical technology reveals 'nanomechanical' surface traits August 29th, 2014
Japanese gold leaf artists worked on a nano-scale: Study demonstrates X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy is a non-destructive way to date artwork July 3rd, 2014
Harry Potter-style invisibility cloaks: A real possibility next Christmas? Forget socks and shaving foam, the big kids of tomorrow want an invisible cloak for Christmas December 19th, 2013
Chicago Awareness Organization First Not-for-Profit to Sponsor Dog Training to Detect Ovarian Cancer Odorants December 12th, 2013
ZEISS Microscopes used to create images for Art Exhibit at Midway Airport: Art of Science: Images from the Institute for Genomic Biology October 25th, 2013