(April 21st, 2016) A technique has been found that could allow carbon nanotubes to be used in electronic cooling and as devices in microchips, sensors and circuits in the future.
Phys.org reported that the technique “uses a laser and electrical current to precisely position and align carbon nanotubes” to make it a “potential new tool for creating electronic devices out of the tiny fibers.”
The technique is called “rapid electrokinetic patterning (REP)” and “uses two parallel electrodes made of indium tin oxide, a transparent and electrically conductive material,” said Phys.org, “The nanotubes are arranged randomly while suspended in deionized water. Applying an electric field causes them to orient vertically. Then an infrared laser heats the fluid, producing a doughnut-shaped vortex of circulating liquid between the two electrodes. This vortex enables the researchers to move the nanotubes and reposition them.”
Phys.org explained that, “the technique overcomes limitations of other methods for manipulating particles measured on the scale of nanometers, or billionths of a meter. In this study, the procedure was used for multiwalled carbon nanotubes, which are rolled-up ultrathin sheets of carbon called graphene. However, according to the researchers, using this technique other nanoparticles such as nanowires and nanorods can be similarly positioned and fixed in vertical orientation.”
These findings were published by the Nature Publishing Group in a paper led by Purdue doctoral student Avanish Mishra in the online journal Microsystems and Nanoengineering on March 24, according to Phys.org.
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