Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Nanotubes take flight

An odako grown at Rice University shows single-walled nanotubes lifting an iron and aluminum oxide "kite" as they grow while remaining firmly rooted in a carbon base.
An odako grown at Rice University shows single-walled nanotubes lifting an iron and aluminum oxide "kite" as they grow while remaining firmly rooted in a carbon base.

Abstract:
Rice scientists use nanomaterials to grow flying carpets, 'odako' kites

Nanotubes take flight

Houston, TX | Posted on July 29th, 2009

With products that range from carpets to kites, you'd think Rice University chemist Bob Hauge was running a department store.

What he's really running is a revolution in the world of carbon nanotechnology.

In a paper published this month in Nano Research, Hauge's Rice University team describes a method for making "odako," bundles of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) named for the traditional Japanese kites they resemble. It may lead to a way to produce meter-long strands of nanotubes, which by themselves are no wider than a piece of DNA.

Hauge, a distinguished faculty fellow in chemistry at Rice's Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, and his co-authors, graduate students Cary Pint and Noe Alvarez, explained the odako after which the bundles are named are gigantic kites that take many hands to fly, hence the many lines that trail from them.

In this case, the lines are nanotubes, hollow cylinders of pure carbon. Individually, they're thousands of times smaller than a living cell, but Hauge's new method creates bundles of SWNTs that are sometimes measured in centimeters, and he said the process could eventually yield tubes of unlimited length.

Large-scale production of nanotube threads and cables would be a godsend for engineers in almost every field. They could be used in lightweight, superefficient power-transmission lines for next-generation electrical grids, for example, and in ultra-strong and lightning-resistant versions of carbon-fiber materials found in airplanes. Hauge said the SWNT bundles may also prove useful in batteries, fuel cells and microelectronics.

To understand how Hauge makes nanokites, it helps to have a little background on flying carpets.

Last year, Hauge and colleagues found they could make compact bundles of nanotubes starting with the same machinery the U.S. Treasury uses to embed paper money with unique markings that make the currency difficult to counterfeit.

Hauge and his team -- which included senior research fellow Howard Schmidt and Professor Matteo Pasquali, both of Rice's Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; graduate students Pint and Sean Pheasant; and Kent Coulter of San Antonio's Southwest Research Institute -- used this printing process to create thin layers of iron and aluminum oxide on a Mylar roll. They then removed the layers and ground them into small flakes.

Here's where the process took off. In a mesh cage placed into a furnace, the metallic flakes would lift off and "fly" in a flowing chemical vapor. As they flew, arrays of nanotubes grew vertically from the iron particles in tight, forest-like formations. When done cooking and viewed under a microscope, the bundles looked remarkably like the pile of a carpet.

While other methods used to grow SWNTs had yielded a paltry 0.5 percent ratio of nanotubes to substrate materials, Hauge's technique brought the yield up to an incredible 400 percent. The process could facilitate large-scale SWNT growth, Pint said.

In the latest research, the team replaced the Mylar with pure carbon. In this setup, the growing nanotubes literally raise the roof, lifting up the iron and aluminum oxide from which they're sprouting while the other ends stay firmly attached to the carbon. As the bundle of tubes grows higher, the catalyst becomes like a kite, flying in the hydrogen and acetylene breeze that flows through the production chamber.

Hauge and his team hope to follow up their work on flying carpets and nanokites with the holy grail of nanotube growth: a catalyst that will not die, enabling furnaces that churn out continuous threads of material.

"If we could get these growing so they never stop - so that, at some point, you pull one end out of the furnace while the other end is still inside growing - then you should be able to grow meter-long material and start weaving it," he said.

Read "Odako growth of dense arrays of single-walled carbon nanotubes attached to carbon surfaces" here: tinyurl.com/nanokite

Read "Synthesis of High Aspect-Ratio Carbon Nanotube 'Flying Carpets' from Nanostructured Flake Substrates" here: tinyurl.com/nanocarpet

Read "Role of Water in Super Growth of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Carpet" here: tinyurl.com/nanowater

####

About Rice University
Rice University is once again among the nation's best colleges, according to The Princeton Review. The New York-based education services company released its annual review with Rice among the top schools in several categories, including No. 1 overall for "best quality of life." The rankings of "The Best 371 Colleges" were based on a survey of 122,000 students throughout the country.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Mike Williams
713-348-6728

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

Triboelectric Nanogenerators Boost Mass Spectrometry Performance March 1st, 2017

Biosensors: Distance makes the signal grow stronger March 1st, 2017

Smart multi-layered magnetic material acts as an electric switch: New study reveals characteristic of islands of magnetic metals between vacuum gaps, displaying tunnelling electric current March 1st, 2017

Bioinspired process makes materials light, robust, programmable at nano- to macro-scale: Ultralight web of silk nano fibers withstands load 4,000 times its weight February 28th, 2017

Possible Futures

Smart multi-layered magnetic material acts as an electric switch: New study reveals characteristic of islands of magnetic metals between vacuum gaps, displaying tunnelling electric current March 1st, 2017

Bioinspired process makes materials light, robust, programmable at nano- to macro-scale: Ultralight web of silk nano fibers withstands load 4,000 times its weight February 28th, 2017

Nano 'sandwich' offers unique properties: Rice University researchers simulate two-dimensional hybrids for optoelectronics February 27th, 2017

Sandia use confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance: Big changes from a small package for hydrogen storage February 25th, 2017

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

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

Captured on video: DNA nanotubes build a bridge between 2 molecular posts: Research may lead to new lines of direct communication with cells January 9th, 2017

Nano-chimneys can cool circuits: Rice University scientists calculate tweaks to graphene would form phonon-friendly cones January 4th, 2017

Nanoelectronics

Smart multi-layered magnetic material acts as an electric switch: New study reveals characteristic of islands of magnetic metals between vacuum gaps, displaying tunnelling electric current March 1st, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Announces Availability of 45nm RF SOI to Advance 5G Mobile Communications: Optimized RF features deliver high-performance solutions for mmWave beam forming applications in 5G smartphones and base stations February 22nd, 2017

Particles from outer space are wreaking low-grade havoc on personal electronics February 19th, 2017

Liquid metal nano printing set to revolutionize electronics: Creating integrated circuits just atoms thick February 18th, 2017

Announcements

Triboelectric Nanogenerators Boost Mass Spectrometry Performance March 1st, 2017

Biosensors: Distance makes the signal grow stronger March 1st, 2017

Smart multi-layered magnetic material acts as an electric switch: New study reveals characteristic of islands of magnetic metals between vacuum gaps, displaying tunnelling electric current March 1st, 2017

Bioinspired process makes materials light, robust, programmable at nano- to macro-scale: Ultralight web of silk nano fibers withstands load 4,000 times its weight February 28th, 2017

Environment

Meta-lenses bring benchtop performance to small, hand-held spectrometer: Game-changing nanostructure-based lenses allow smaller devices, increased functionality February 9th, 2017

NIST updates 'sweet' 1950s separation method to clean nanoparticles from organisms January 27th, 2017

Investigating the impact of natural and manmade nanomaterials on living things: Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology develops tools to assess current and future risk January 9th, 2017

PCATDES Starts Field Testing of Photocatalytic Reactors in South East Asia December 28th, 2016

Energy

Sandia use confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance: Big changes from a small package for hydrogen storage February 25th, 2017

Strem Chemicals and Dotz Nano Ltd. Sign Distribution Agreement for Graphene Quantum Dots Collaboration February 21st, 2017

'Lossless' metamaterial could boost efficiency of lasers and other light-based devices February 20th, 2017

In-cell molecular sieve from protein crystal February 14th, 2017

Battery Technology/Capacitors/Generators/Piezoelectrics/Thermoelectrics/Energy storage

Triboelectric Nanogenerators Boost Mass Spectrometry Performance March 1st, 2017

Sandia use confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance: Big changes from a small package for hydrogen storage February 25th, 2017

Tiny nanoclusters could solve big problems for lithium-ion batteries February 21st, 2017

Strem Chemicals and Dotz Nano Ltd. Sign Distribution Agreement for Graphene Quantum Dots Collaboration February 21st, 2017

Fuel Cells

Scientists boost catalytic activity for key chemical reaction in fuel cells: New platinum-based catalysts with tensile surface strain could improve fuel cell efficiency December 19th, 2016

It's basic: Alternative fuel cell technology reduces cost: Study sets performance targets for metal-free fuel cell membrane December 13th, 2016

Keeping electric car design on the right road: A closer look at the life-cycle impacts of lithium-ion batteries and proton exchange membrane fuel cells December 9th, 2016

Water vapor sets some oxides aflutter: Newly discovered phenomenon could affect materials in batteries and water-splitting devices October 3rd, 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