Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Nanotube's 'tapestry' controls its growth: PNAS study answers longstanding mystery about carbon nanomaterials

Abstract:
Rice University materials scientists have put a new "twist" on carbon nanotube growth. The researchers found nanotubes grow like tiny molecular tapestries, woven from twisting, single-atom threads. The research appears online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and finds a direct relationship between a nanotube's "chiral" angle -- the amount it's twisted -- and how fast it grows.

Nanotube's 'tapestry' controls its growth: PNAS study answers longstanding mystery about carbon nanomaterials

Houston, TX | Posted on February 5th, 2009

Carbon nanotubes are hollow tubes of pure carbon that measure about one nanometer, or one-billionth of a meter, in diameter. In molecular diagrams, they look like rolled-up sheets of chicken wire. And just like a roll of wire or gift-wrapping paper, nanotubes can be rolled at an odd angle with excess hanging off the end.

Though nanotubes are much-studied, their growth is poorly understood. They grow by "self assembly," forming spontaneously from gaseous carbon feedstock under precise catalytic circumstances. The new research, which appears online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds a direct relationship between a nanotube's "chiral" angle -- the amount it's twisted -- and how fast it grows.

"Our study offers some clues about this intimate 'self assembly' process," said Rice's Boris Yakobson, professor in mechanical engineering and materials science and of chemistry. New theory suggests that each tube is 'woven' from many twisting threads. Each grows independently, with new atoms attaching themselves to the exposed thread ends. The more threads there are, the faster the whole tapestry grows.

Yakobson, the lead researcher on the project, said the new formula's predictions have been borne out by a number of laboratory reports. For example, the formula predicts that nanotubes with the largest chiral angle will grow fastest because they have the most exposed threads -- something that's been shown in several experiments.

"Chirality is one of the primary determinants of a nanotube's properties," said Yakobson. "Our approach reveals quantitatively the role that chirality plays in growth, which is of great interest to all who hope to incorporate nanotubes into new technologies."

The study was co-authored by former Rice research scientist Feng Ding, now assistant professor at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and Avetik Harutyunyan of the Honda Research Institute USA in Columbus, Ohio. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation, the Welch Foundation and the Department of Defense.

####

About Rice University
Located in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked one of America's best teaching and research universities. Known for its "unconventional wisdom," Rice is distinguished by its: size -- 3,001 undergraduates and 2,144 graduate students; selectivity -- 12 applicants for each place in the freshman class; resources -- an undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio of 5-to-1; sixth largest endowment per student among American private research universities; residential college system, which builds communities that are both close-knit and diverse; and collaborative culture, which crosses disciplines, integrates teaching and research, and intermingles undergraduate and graduate work.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Jade Boyd
Associate Director and Science Editor
Office of Public Affairs/News & Media Relations
Rice University
(office) 713-348-6778
(cell) 713-302-2447

Copyright © Rice University

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

News and information

Looking for the quantum frontier: Beyond classical computing without fault-tolerance? April 27th, 2017

Metal nanoparticles induced visible-light photocatalysis: Mechanisms, applications, ways of promoting catalytic activity and outlook April 27th, 2017

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals to Webcast Fiscal 2017 Second Quarter Results April 27th, 2017

California Research Alliance by BASF establishes more than 25 research projects in three years April 26th, 2017

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

Nanotubes that build themselves April 14th, 2017

Intertronics introduce new nanoparticle deagglomeration technology March 15th, 2017

Boron atoms stretch out, gain new powers: Rice University simulations demonstrate 1-D material's stiffness, electrical versatility January 26th, 2017

New stem cell technique shows promise for bone repair January 25th, 2017

Discoveries

Looking for the quantum frontier: Beyond classical computing without fault-tolerance? April 27th, 2017

Metal nanoparticles induced visible-light photocatalysis: Mechanisms, applications, ways of promoting catalytic activity and outlook April 27th, 2017

Geoffrey Beach: Drawn to explore magnetism: Materials researcher is working on the magnetic memory of the future April 25th, 2017

Using light to propel water : With new method, MIT engineers can control and separate fluids on a surface using only visible light April 25th, 2017

Announcements

Looking for the quantum frontier: Beyond classical computing without fault-tolerance? April 27th, 2017

Metal nanoparticles induced visible-light photocatalysis: Mechanisms, applications, ways of promoting catalytic activity and outlook April 27th, 2017

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals to Webcast Fiscal 2017 Second Quarter Results April 27th, 2017

Video captures bubble-blowing battery in action: Researchers propose how bubbles form, could lead to smaller lithium-air batteries April 26th, 2017

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