In view of the scientific and technological potential of CNTs, it is of immense importance to know who should be credited for their discovery. In the present article, we have made an attempt to give a glimpse into the discovery and early history of this fascinating material for our readers. Carbon nanotubes possess unique combination of extraordinary mechanical, electronic, transport, electrical and optical, properties and nanoscale sizes making them suitable for a variety of applications ranging from engineering, electronics, optoelectronics, photonics, space, defence industry, medicine, molecular and biological systems.
In new work, an international team of researchers describes the drawing and Raman characterization procedure developed for placing single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), proof of SWCNT alignment, optimization of the drawing parameters, and the subsequent placement in predefined lithographic structures for the demonstration of electrical conductivity. In essence, the team developed a simple nanopen for drawing and placing aligned single or multiple rod like molecules nanometrically.
Researchers present materials and device design/fabrication strategies for an array of highly stable and uniform SWCNT-based stretchable electronic devices consisting of capacitors, charge-trap floating-gate memory units, and logic gates (inverters and NAND/NOR gates). The researchers' detailed material, electrical, and mechanical characterizations and theoretical analysis in mechanics provide useful insights in the design and development of SWCNT-based wearable electronic systems.
Supercapacitors offer an alternative source of energy to replace rechargeable batteries for various applications, such as mobile electronics and electric vehicles. Among the various types of supercapacitors, carbon nanotube based devices have shown an order of magnitude higher performance in terms of energy and power densities. The bottleneck for transferring this technology to the marketplace, however, is the lack of efficient and scalable nanomanufacturing methods. Researchers have now developed a new scalable method to to directly spraycoat CNT-based supercapacitor electrodes.
Carbon nanotube assemblies enabled design of a hybrid thermo-electromagnetic sound transducer with unique sound generation features that are not available from conventional diaphragm and thermo-acoustic speakers. New work describes a hybrid thermo-electromagnetic sound transducer (TEMST) fabricated using highly porous multi-walled carbon nanotube sheet that was placed in the proximity of a permanent magnet. Upon electrical AC excitation, thermal response of the material is combined with diaphragm-like sheet oscillations induced by the electromagnetic action of the Lorentz force.
The space industry has a strong requirement to develop flexible electrostatic discharge protection layers for the exterior cover of satellites in order to protect the electronics of the spacecraft. A new study explores carbon nanotube-polyimide composite materials as a flexible alternative for the currently used indium tin oxide (ITO) coating, which is brittle and suffers from severe degradation of the electrical conductance due to fracture of the coating upon bending.
There has been a long debate in the nanotube community regarding the photocurrent generation mechanisms in individual nanotube devices. In early optoelectronic studies with single-walled carbon nanotubes, the interpretation of photocurrent was mostly based on photovoltaic mechanisms. In new work, researchers use the extra tunability of a double-gated device to conclusively demonstrate that strong photothermal effects are present in carbon nanotube devices.
Inspired by nature's ingenious biological designs, researchers have persistently attempted to mimic these biofunctionalities to bring technological breakthroughs. One of these morphologies - the unique shape of a helical coil - is not only interesting from a scientific standpoint but also pivotal, offering DNA its distinctive properties and propelling flagella in viscous fluids, to name a few. With the advent of personalized medicine on the horizon, researchers are now trying to use tiny springs made of carbon nanotubes, i.e. nanocoils, to propel nanorobots to perform microsurgeries.