February 8, 2011 — Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have many attractive properties, and their structure and areas of application can be compared with those of graphene. To exploit these properties, however, it is necessary to have full control of the manufacturing process. Scientists at the University of Gothenburg successfully defended a thesis on this subject, "In Silco Studies of Carbon Nanotubes and Metal Clusters."
"Our results show that the metal particles that form the basis of the manufacture of carbon nanotubes must have a certain minimum size, in order for growth to start and to continue. It is also probable that the particles are in liquid form at a manufacturing temperature of around 800°C, even though the metals used may have much higher melting points," says Anders Börjesson from the Department of Physics at the University of Gothenburg.
The scientists used various computer models to study in detail properties that are difficult or impossible to examine in experimental conditions. While the diameter of the nanotubes is of the order of one billionth of a metre, and they can be as thin as a single carbon layer, the length of the tubes can extend from the nanometer scale up to several decimeters. Carbon nanotubes can be regarded as thin threads of pure carbon, whose length can be a billion times greater than their thickness.
The thesis In Silco Studies of Carbon Nanotubes and Metal Clusters has been successfully defended. Supervisor: Professor Kim Bolton. The research has been a collaboration between the University of Gothenburg and the University of Borås. Link to the thesis: http://bada.hb.se/handle/2320/6908
For more information on this research, contact Anders Börjesson, Department of Physics, University of Gothenburg, at +46(0)31 786 9143, +46(0)70 240 1145, [email protected]
Courtesy of Anita Fors