Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Nanotubes boost terahertz detectors: Rice-led project may dramatically improve medical imaging, passenger screening, food inspection

A thin-film terahertz detector created with carbon nanotubes (the thin strip of black material) may revolutionize medical imaging, passenger screening and food inspection, among other uses, according to researchers at Rice University and Sandia National Laboratories.Credit: Sandia National Laboratories
A thin-film terahertz detector created with carbon nanotubes (the thin strip of black material) may revolutionize medical imaging, passenger screening and food inspection, among other uses, according to researchers at Rice University and Sandia National Laboratories.

Credit: Sandia National Laboratories

Abstract:
Researchers at Rice University, Sandia National Laboratories and the Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed novel terahertz detectors based on carbon nanotubes that could improve medical imaging, airport passenger screening, food inspection and other applications.

Nanotubes boost terahertz detectors: Rice-led project may dramatically improve medical imaging, passenger screening, food inspection

Houston, TX | Posted on June 11th, 2014

Unlike current terahertz detectors, the devices are flexible, sensitive to polarization and broad bandwidth and feature large detection areas. They operate at room temperature without requiring any power.

The project led by Rice physicist Junichiro Kono and Sandia scientist François Léonard takes advantage of the terahertz range of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Because terahertz waves are much smaller in energy than visible light, finding materials that absorb and turn them into useful electronic signals has been a challenge, Kono said. Now, thin films of highly aligned carbon nanotubes developed at Rice have been configured to act as compact, flexible terahertz sensors.

The research was reported in the American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters.

Kono said terahertz waves easily penetrate fabric and other materials and may provide less intrusive ways for security screenings of people and cargo. Terahertz imaging could also be used to inspect food without adversely impacting its quality.

Perhaps the most exciting application offered by terahertz technology, he said, is as a possible replacement for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology in screening for cancer and other diseases.

"The potential improvements in size, ease, cost and mobility of a terahertz-based detector are phenomenal," Kono said. "With this technology, you could conceivably design a handheld terahertz detection camera that images tumors in real time with pinpoint accuracy. And it could be done without the intimidating nature of MRI technology."

The scientific community has long been interested in the terahertz properties of carbon nanotubes, Léonard said, but virtually all of the research to date has been theoretical or computer-model-based. A handful of papers, including several by Kono and his Rice team, have investigated terahertz phenomena in carbon nanotubes, but those have focused mainly on the use of one or a bundle of nanotubes.

The problem, Léonard said, is that terahertz radiation typically requires an antenna to achieve coupling into a single nanotube, due to the relatively large size of terahertz waves. The researchers, however, found a way to create a small detector that is visible to the naked eye. The thin carbon nanotube film developed by Rice chemist Robert Hauge and the paper's lead author, Rice graduate student Xiaowei He, does not require an antenna, and is thus amenable to simple fabrication. It represents one of the team's most important achievements, Léonard said.

"Carbon nanotube thin films are extremely good absorbers of electromagnetic light," he explained. In the terahertz range, the film, a mix of metallic and semiconducting nanotubes, soaks up all of the incoming terahertz radiation.

"Trying to do that with a different kind of material would be nearly impossible, since a semiconductor and a metal couldn't coexist at the nanoscale at high density," Kono said. "But that's what we've achieved with the carbon nanotubes."

The technique is key, he said, because it combines the superb terahertz absorption properties of metallic nanotubes and the unique electronic properties of semiconducting nanotubes. This allowed the researchers to create a photo detector that does not require power to operate, with performance comparable to existing technology.

The 150-micron-wide, 2-millimeter-long films of aligned carbon nanotubes were grown by He from 2-micron-wide lines of catalyst. The resulting film was doped to create a positive/negative junction and attached to Teflon backing and gold electrodes for testing. "The structure is very compact and combines the absorber, the thermometer and polarizer that terahertz detectors require into one piece of film," He said.

Next, the researchers need to integrate an independent terahertz radiation generator with the detector for applications that require a source, Léonard said. The team also needs to incorporate electronics into the system and to further improve properties of the carbon nanotube material.

The project's contributors included researchers taking part in NanoJapan, a 12-week summer program that enables freshman and sophomore physics and engineering students from U.S. universities to complete nanoscience research internships in Japan. NanoJapan is funded by the National Science Foundation through the TeraNano collaboration based at Rice and Tokyo Tech. Such research collaborations and international outreach are among Rice's Priorities for the New Century.

"A hallmark of this international research collaboration is the emphasis it places on training the next generation of terahertz nanoscience researchers," Kono said. "NanoJapan tightly integrates the international experience with students' academic programs by providing hands-on opportunities to acquire technical skills and knowledge associated with cutting-edge nanoscience and optics research projects."

Co-authors are Rice graduate students Qi Zhang, Weilu Gao and undergradute Qijia Jiang; Naoki Fujimura and Yukio Kawano of the Tokyo Institute of Technology; NanoJapan participant Meagan Lloyd of Carnegie Mellon University; Kristopher Erickson and Alec Talin of Sandia National Laboratories; and Hauge, a distinguished faculty fellow in chemistry at Rice. Kono is a professor of electrical and computer engineering and of physics and astronomy.

The Department of Energy, the National Institute for Nano Engineering at Sandia National Laboratories, the Lockheed-Martin Rice University LANCER program, the National Science Foundation and the Robert A. Welch Foundation funded the research.

####

About Rice University
Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation's top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,920 undergraduates and 2,567 graduate students, Rice's undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6.3-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for "best value" among private universities by Kiplinger's Personal Finance.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
David Ruth
713-348-6327


Mike Williams
713-348-6728

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 Links

Read the abstract at:

Related News Press

Laboratories

'Lasers rewired': Scientists find a new way to make nanowire lasers: Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley scientists adapt next-gen solar cell materials for a different purpose February 12th, 2016

SLAC X-ray laser turns crystal imperfections into better images of important biomolecules: New method could remove major obstacles to studying structures of complex biological machines February 11th, 2016

Scientists take nanoparticle snapshots February 10th, 2016

News and information

'Lasers rewired': Scientists find a new way to make nanowire lasers: Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley scientists adapt next-gen solar cell materials for a different purpose February 12th, 2016

Breaking cell barriers with retractable protein nanoneedles: Adapting a bacterial structure, Wyss Institute researchers develop protein actuators that can mechanically puncture cells February 12th, 2016

Replacement of Toxic Antibacterial Agents Possible by Biocompatible Polymeric Nanocomposites February 12th, 2016

Properties of Polymeric Nanofibers Optimized to Treat Damaged Body Tissues February 12th, 2016

Imaging

SLAC X-ray laser turns crystal imperfections into better images of important biomolecules: New method could remove major obstacles to studying structures of complex biological machines February 11th, 2016

Scientists take nanoparticle snapshots February 10th, 2016

Law enforcement/Anti-Counterfeiting/Security/Loss prevention

Nanotech Security to Present at the Optical Document Security Conference February 11, 2016 February 4th, 2016

Scientists build a neural network using plastic memristors: A group of Russian and Italian scientists have created a neural network based on polymeric memristors -- devices that can potentially be used to build fundamentally new computers January 28th, 2016

Photochromic Nanostructures; Tools to Detect, Tract Living Cells January 14th, 2016

Nanotech Grants Options and Restricted Share Units January 11th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Graphene leans on glass to advance electronics: Scientists' use of common glass to optimize graphene's electronic properties could improve technologies from flat screens to solar cells February 12th, 2016

A metal that behaves like water: Researchers describe new behaviors of graphene February 12th, 2016

'Lasers rewired': Scientists find a new way to make nanowire lasers: Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley scientists adapt next-gen solar cell materials for a different purpose February 12th, 2016

Silicon chip with integrated laser: Light from a nanowire: Nanolaser for information technology February 12th, 2016

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

Superconductivity: Footballs with no resistance - Indications of light-induced lossless electricity transmission in fullerenes contribute to the search for superconducting materials for practical applications February 9th, 2016

The iron stepping stones to better wearable tech without semiconductors February 8th, 2016

Nano-coating makes coaxial cables lighter: Rice University scientists replace metal with carbon nanotubes for aerospace use January 28th, 2016

Scientists provide new guideline for synthesis of fullerene electron acceptors January 28th, 2016

Nanomedicine

Breaking cell barriers with retractable protein nanoneedles: Adapting a bacterial structure, Wyss Institute researchers develop protein actuators that can mechanically puncture cells February 12th, 2016

Replacement of Toxic Antibacterial Agents Possible by Biocompatible Polymeric Nanocomposites February 12th, 2016

Properties of Polymeric Nanofibers Optimized to Treat Damaged Body Tissues February 12th, 2016

SLAC X-ray laser turns crystal imperfections into better images of important biomolecules: New method could remove major obstacles to studying structures of complex biological machines February 11th, 2016

Discoveries

'Lasers rewired': Scientists find a new way to make nanowire lasers: Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley scientists adapt next-gen solar cell materials for a different purpose February 12th, 2016

Breaking cell barriers with retractable protein nanoneedles: Adapting a bacterial structure, Wyss Institute researchers develop protein actuators that can mechanically puncture cells February 12th, 2016

Replacement of Toxic Antibacterial Agents Possible by Biocompatible Polymeric Nanocomposites February 12th, 2016

Properties of Polymeric Nanofibers Optimized to Treat Damaged Body Tissues February 12th, 2016

Announcements

Graphene leans on glass to advance electronics: Scientists' use of common glass to optimize graphene's electronic properties could improve technologies from flat screens to solar cells February 12th, 2016

Breaking cell barriers with retractable protein nanoneedles: Adapting a bacterial structure, Wyss Institute researchers develop protein actuators that can mechanically puncture cells February 12th, 2016

Replacement of Toxic Antibacterial Agents Possible by Biocompatible Polymeric Nanocomposites February 12th, 2016

Properties of Polymeric Nanofibers Optimized to Treat Damaged Body Tissues February 12th, 2016

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

'Lasers rewired': Scientists find a new way to make nanowire lasers: Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley scientists adapt next-gen solar cell materials for a different purpose February 12th, 2016

Breaking cell barriers with retractable protein nanoneedles: Adapting a bacterial structure, Wyss Institute researchers develop protein actuators that can mechanically puncture cells February 12th, 2016

Replacement of Toxic Antibacterial Agents Possible by Biocompatible Polymeric Nanocomposites February 12th, 2016

Properties of Polymeric Nanofibers Optimized to Treat Damaged Body Tissues February 12th, 2016

Homeland Security

Detecting and identifying explosives with single test December 10th, 2015

Columbia engineers build biologically powered chip: System combines biological ion channels with solid-state transistors to create a new kind of electronics December 7th, 2015

Nanoparticle delivery maximizes drug defense against bioterrorism agent: UCLA team develops method for improving drug’s efficacy while reducing side effects November 6th, 2015

Toward clearer, cheaper imaging of ultrafast phenomena: A new, all-optical method for compressing narrow electron pulses to a billionth of a billionth of a second could improve real-time movies of chemical reactions and other ultrafast processes October 14th, 2015

Military

Scientists guide gold nanoparticles to form 'diamond' superlattices: DNA scaffolds cage and coax nanoparticles into position to form crystalline arrangements that mimic the atomic structure of diamond February 4th, 2016

Researchers develop completely new kind of polymer: Hybrid polymers could lead to new concepts in self-repairing materials, drug delivery and artificial muscles January 30th, 2016

Nano-coating makes coaxial cables lighter: Rice University scientists replace metal with carbon nanotubes for aerospace use January 28th, 2016

Scientists build a neural network using plastic memristors: A group of Russian and Italian scientists have created a neural network based on polymeric memristors -- devices that can potentially be used to build fundamentally new computers January 28th, 2016

Food/Agriculture/Supplements

Replacement of Toxic Antibacterial Agents Possible by Biocompatible Polymeric Nanocomposites February 12th, 2016

Scientists have put a high precision blood assay into a simple test strip: Researchers have developed a new biosensor test system based on magnetic nanoparticles February 3rd, 2016

Herbal Extracts Applied to Synthesize Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles January 28th, 2016

Antibacterial Nanocomposites Designed in Iran for Foodstuff Packaging January 20th, 2016

Grants/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

'Lasers rewired': Scientists find a new way to make nanowire lasers: Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley scientists adapt next-gen solar cell materials for a different purpose February 12th, 2016

Silicon chip with integrated laser: Light from a nanowire: Nanolaser for information technology February 12th, 2016

NSS Pays Tribute to Late NSS Governor Dr. Marvin Minsky, A Pioneer in Artificial Intelligence February 11th, 2016

Scientists take nanoparticle snapshots February 10th, 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







Car Brands
Buy website traffic