World's longest nanotube

Published on Nov 25, 2004 03:19 PM IST

The world's longest electrically conducting nanotubes could be crucial for supercomputer and health care applications.

HT Image
HT Image
PTI | ByAsian News International, Washington

In a breakthrough discovery the scientists at The Henry Samueli School of Engineering have successfully synthesized the world's longest electrically conducting nanotubes.

The tubes which are 10 times longer than previous current-carrying nanotubes, could be crucial for supercomputer and health care applications as they may lead to the development of extremely strong, lightweight materials and ultradense nano-memory arrays for extremely powerful computers, ultralow-loss power transmission lines, and nano-biosensors for use in health care applications.

A nanotube is commonly made from carbon and consists of a graphite sheet seamlessly wrapped into a cylinder only a few nanometres wide.

"We are extremely excited about this discovery," said Burke. "Recently there have been several key advances around the world in synthesizing very long carbon nanotubes. Our research has taken a significant step forward by showing we can pass electricity through these long nanotubes. Significantly, we have found that our nanotubes have electrical properties superior to copper. This clearly shows for the first time that long nanotubes have outstanding electrical properties, just like short ones," Peter Burke, assistant professor of electrical engineering, said.

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