Carbon nanotubes may soon replace silicon due to a new breakthrough in the field.
Researchers at the University of Southern California have discovered a way to build carbon nanotubes, a tube shaped material made of carbon that is measured on the nanometer scale, with specific, predictable atomic structures. Carbon nanotubes may replace silicon in the future. The nanotubes could be used in a variety of products, including those that use optics, energy storage and touch screens. Prior to this breakthrough, scientist had no way of efficiently producing carbon nanotubes with specific attributes. Scientist had to create carbon tubes and then break them down into the smaller tubes that had properties that they needed. The USC research group that made the breakthrough took small tubes like these, and used high temperatures to make them “grow.” The USC team has been working for three years to produce these results, reports USC News.
“We are now working on scale up the process,” Chongwu Zhou, professor in the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and corresponding author of the study published on Aug. 23 in the journal Nano Letters, told USC News. “Our method can revolutionize the field and significantly push forward the real applications of nanotube in many fields.”