Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Nanotubes as chemical reactor for nanoribbon production

Researchers at The University of Nottingham have pioneered a new method of using carbon nanotubes as nanoscale chemical reactors (containing chemical reactions).

Chemical reactions involving carbon and sulfur atoms held within a carbon nanotube lead to the formation of atomically thin strips of carbon (graphene nanoribbon) decorated with sulfur atoms around the edge.

The team has also discovered that nanoribbons — far from being simple flat and linear structures — possess an unprecedented helical twist that changes over time, giving scientists a way of controlling physical properties of the nanoribbon, such as electrical conductivity.

Devices based on nanoribbons could potentially be used as nano-switches, nano-actuators, and nano-transistors integrated in computers or data storage devices, the researchers said.


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