Path: EDN Asia >> News Centre >> Industrial/Mil/Aero >> Producing nanoribbons from grinding carbon nanotubes
Industrial/Mil/Aero Share print

Producing nanoribbons from grinding carbon nanotubes

17 Jun 2015

Share this page with your friends

A team of researchers from Rice University has come up with a method to turn carbon nanotubes into valuable graphene nanoribbons. The trick, according to Rice materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan, is to mix two types of chemically modified nanotubes. When they come into contact during grinding, they react and unzip, a process that until now has depended largely on reactions in harsh chemical solutions.

The research by Ajayan and his international collaborators appears in Nature Communications.

To be clear, Ajayan said, the process is still a chemical reaction that depends on molecules purposely attached to the nanotubes, a process called functionalisation. The most interesting part to the researchers is that a process as simple as grinding could deliver strong chemical coupling between solid nanostructures and produce novel forms of nanostructured products with specific properties.

"Chemical reactions can easily be done in solutions, but this work is entirely solid state," he said. "Our question is this: If we can use nanotubes as templates, functionalise them and get reactions under the right conditions, what kinds of things can we make with a large number of possible nanostructures and chemical functional groups?"

The process should enable many new chemical reactions and products, said Mohamad Kabbani, a graduate student at Rice and lead author of the paper. "Using different functionalities in different nanoscale systems could revolutionise nanomaterials development," he said.

Pulickel Ajayan (left) and Mohamad Kabbani

Rice University materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan, left, and graduate student Mohamad Kabbani led a team that produced graphene nanoribbons from functionalised carbon nanotubes by grinding them. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)

Highly conductive graphene nanoribbons, thousands of times smaller than a human hair, are finding their way into the marketplace in composite materials. The nanoribbons boost the materials' electronic properties and/or strength.

"Controlling such structures by mechano-chemical transformation will be the key to find new applications," said co-author Thalappil Pradeep, a professor of chemistry at the Indian Institute of Technology Chennai. "Soft chemistry of this kind can happen in many conditions, contributing to better understanding of materials processing."

1 • 2 Next Page Last Page


Want to more of this to be delivered to you for FREE?

Subscribe to EDN Asia alerts and receive the latest design ideas and product news in your inbox.

Got to make sure you're not a robot. Please enter the code displayed on the right.

Time to activate your subscription - it's easy!

We have sent an activate request to your registerd e-email. Simply click on the link to activate your subscription.

We're doing this to protect your privacy and ensure you successfully receive your e-mail alerts.


Add New Comment
Visitor (To avoid code verification, simply login or register with us. It is fast and free!)
*Verify code:
Tech Impact

Regional Roundup
Control this smart glass with the blink of an eye
K-Glass 2 detects users' eye movements to point the cursor to recognise computer icons or objects in the Internet, and uses winks for commands. The researchers call this interface the "i-Mouse."

GlobalFoundries extends grants to Singapore students
ARM, Tencent Games team up to improve mobile gaming