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January 7th, 2011

Spinning Nano Yarns

Abstract:
Many important technologies—from battery electrodes and superconducting wires to the catalysts in fuel cells—rely on materials containing powdered particles, which can be tricky to manage. Now, in a feat that could simplify the production of many such technologies and might point the way toward some radical new ones, researchers at the University of Texas have demonstrated a way to spin yarn out of nanotubes infused with useful powdered materials.

The researchers have used the method to make strips of yarn that function as a battery electrode, others with superconducting properties, and self-cleaning yarns.

"Powders are very important functional materials because they have very high surface area," says Ray Baughman, who directs the MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute at the University of Texas in Dallas. "The problem is that powders without form are difficult to use."

Source:
technologyreview.com

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