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Carbon Nanotubes

  • Date Submitted: 02/28/2012 07:25 AM
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Potential applications of Carbon nanotubes
The discovery of fullerenes provided exciting insights into carbon nanostructures and how architectures built from sp2 carbon units based on simple geometrical principles can result in new symmetries and structures that have fascinating and useful properties. Carbon nanotubes (aka CNTs) represent the most striking example. This are made from graphene sheets consisting of a single atomic layer of carbon atoms in a honeycomb framework that can be rolled into a tube measuring about a nanometer, or one billionth of a meter, in diameter. The extreme properties of fullerenes and carbon nanotubes, such as outstanding mechanical, thermal, electronic, and electrical properties, coupled with chemical robustness, have spurred a broad range of three surprising applications based on some of the remarkable materials properties of nanotubes.1 Uses for cleaning polluted water, boosting solar energy storage by a factor of 10,000 and biomedical applications as molecular syringes, probes, and bioelectronic noses will be described.
Scientists found that by using filters made of carbon nanotubes, pollutants could be removed more effectively from contaminated water as compared to common charcoal filters. CNTs have a very large surface area (e.g., 500 m2 per gram of nanotube) that gives them a high capacity to retain pollutants such as water soluble drugs. A team at the University of Vienna found that at concentrations likely to occur in the environment, the tubes removed 13 tested Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) from contaminated water. The results were recently published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. However, there are still many health and environmental questions to answer before such filters find their way into municipal water treatment plants.2
Whit regard to business of storing solar energy in molecules that change state in response to light could be entirely transformed by carbon nanotubes. Researchers at...


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