Carbon Nanotubes Created From A Household Cleaning Chemical

Posted: May 17 2018, 11:08am CDT | by , in News | Technology News

 
Carbon Nanotubes Created from a Household Cleaning Chemical
The carbon nanotube-based dough can be transformed into arbitrary shapes, such as this freestanding strip. Image Credit: Northwestern University
  • Cresol-based Solvents make Carbon Nanotubes as Usable as Common Plastics

Scientists Manage to Create Carbon Nanotubes from a Simple Solvent

Carbon nanotube research has just received a great boost thanks to scientific work that took place at Northwestern University. The surprising thing is that all it took was a common chemical that is found in domestic cleaner fluids. This simple solvent is called cresol.

The scientists have made these dispersed carbon nanotubes at very high concentrations. They have not felt any need to add any other materials or engage in explosive chemical reactions either.

As the concentration levels increased, a viscous paste is formed and finally, a gel and dough-like shape is reached by the material.

The research work was published in a scientific journal recently. Due to the mechanics, temperature-sensitive properties and electrical tendencies of carbon nanotubes, they come in handy for quite a few applications.

After much research on this subject over the years, the original fervor had become somewhat diluted in its pitch. The thing was that these carbon nanotubes were a tricky medium to master.

For one thing, they are 10,000 times finer than a strand of human hair. Yet they are more tensile than the strongest steel. Their heat and electricity conducting capabilities are greater than copper.

When produced in bulk, they tend to form overlapping bundles and also become sticky. Furthermore, their dispersal in solvents is not an easy job.

However, now the scientists have figured a way out of this dilemma. The material cresol has no effect on the upper functions of these nanotubes. The tubes can be separated and the remaining cresol liquid can be evaporated.

The various stages of firmness from liquid to solid that these nanotubes took was viewed by the scientists with amazement. Most of these could be employed as ink meant for 3D printers. It is indeed a fascinating process and almost reminds one of playdough.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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