Turning atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) into valuable products seems like a great idea to help remove this greenhouse gas to mitigate climate change. Using a process of molten carbonate electrolytic transformation of CO2 to carbon nanotubes, researchers have now demonstrated 'carbon nanotube wool'. These are the first carbon nanotubes that can be directly woven into a cloth as they are of macroscopic length (over 1mm) and are cheap to produce. The sole reactant to produce the carbon nanotube wools is carbon dioxide. This transforms CO2 from a pollutant into a useful, valuable resource.
New work demonstrates that one of the most important security primitives, i.e. a true random number generator (TRNG), can be realized within the rigorous constraints required for future Internet-of-Things electronics. The solution-processability of semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes allows to meet these strict constraints by simultaneously enabling small-scale, low cost fabrication of low-power, ultra-thin, printable, and mechanically flexible security devices. This presents a significant milestone in enabling higher level cryptographic solutions using scalable solution processing.
In spite of the numerous research efforts regarding the development of miniaturized, low-cost, and highly sensitive sensors based on different organic and semiconducting materials, carbon nanotubes still remain the most promising ones. An international team of researchers has now developed a simple way for fabrication and operation of carbon nanotube-based chemical sensors. The sensor consists of carboxylated single-walled carbon nanotubes, which were spin-coated over the polymer substrate between sputtered metal electrodes.
In two new studies, researchers show that cement plants can have their carbon dioxide exhaust eliminated while co-producing carbon nanotubes. They demonstrate that with their C2CNT (carbon dioxide into carbon nanotubes) process, a wide portfolio of tailored carbon nanotubes, such as those with special shapes or conductivity can be made. C2CNT is a straightforward process that transforms CO2 to carbon nanotubes by molten electrolysis with inexpensive (nickel and steel) electrodes and low voltage. This synthesis consumes only CO2 and electricity, and is constrained only by the cost of electricity.
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs), by possessing a uniquely large disparity among its intertube and intratube interaction strengths, have been established as ultralow friction nanostructures and are serving as testbeds for tuning frictional response. In new woirk, researchers now have revealed the phononic origins of friction in CNT oscillators. This work, for the first time, provides a precise connection between individual phonon mode scattering and friction force.
Great effort has been applied on the controllable synthesis of ideal carbon nanotubes (CNTs). However, it's almost impossible to directly synthesize pure semiconducting CNTs by an in situ catalytic reaction alone, without any post-separation, when only small amounts of metallic CNTs may cause catastrophic device shorting failures. That is why the synthesis of CNTs with consistent chirality and high density is facing a bottleneck. A group of researchers in China have creatively proposed a novel method by entangling an individual decimeter-long CNT with a diameter of 2 nm into a large tangle with high density and consistent chirality.
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) being highly electrically conductive along the tube axis, have gained great research interests in recent years for connecting two conducting electrodes at the nanoscale - where the CNTs can be integrated into a micro- or nanoelectronic system. Therefore, the orientational control of CNTs has drawn a great deal of research interest in nanotechnology. Researchers now have developed a technique to bridge two electrical conductors by assembling CNTs guided by liquid crystals.
Carbon nanotube enabled nanocomposites have received much attention as a highly attractive alternative to conventional composite materials due to their mechanical, electrical, thermal, barrier and chemical properties such as electrical conductivity, increased tensile strength, improved heat deflection temperature, or flame retardancy. In new work, researchers report the fabrication of highly conductive carbon nanotube/polylactic acid nanocomposites used as 3D printable conductive inks for fabrication of conductive scaffold structures applicable as liquid sensors.