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Materials 2011, 4(9), 1519-1527; doi:10.3390/ma4091519

Spinning Carbon Nanotube Nanothread under a Scanning Electron Microscope

Nanoworld Laboratories, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0072, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 June 2011 / Revised: 1 August 2011 / Accepted: 18 August 2011 / Published: 29 August 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Nanotubes: Synthesis, Characterization and Applications)
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Nanothread with a diameter as small as one hundred nanometers was manufactured under a scanning electron microscope. Made directly from carbon nanotubes, and inheriting their superior electrical and mechanical properties, nanothread may be the world’s smallest man-made fiber. The smallest thread that can be spun using a bench-top spinning machine is about 5 microns in diameter. Nanothread is a new material building block that can be used at the nanoscale or plied to form yarn for applications at the micro and macro scales. Preliminary electrical and mechanical properties of nanothread were measured. The resistivity of nanothread is less than 10−5 Ω∙m. The strength of nanothread is greater than 0.5 GPa. This strength was obtained from measurements using special glue that cures in an electron microscope. The glue weakened the thread, thus further work is needed to obtain more accurate measurements. Nanothread will have broad applications in enabling electrical components, circuits, sensors, and tiny machines. Yarn can be used for various macroscale applications including lightweight antennas, composites, and cables.
Keywords: carbon nanotubes; manipulation; nanothread; nanotechnology carbon nanotubes; manipulation; nanothread; nanotechnology
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, W.; Jayasinghe, C.; Shanov, V.; Schulz, M. Spinning Carbon Nanotube Nanothread under a Scanning Electron Microscope. Materials 2011, 4, 1519-1527.

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