Navigation Links
Clemson scientists put a (nano) spring in their step
Date:8/13/2008

CLEMSON Electronic devices get smaller and more complex every year. It turns out that fragility is the price for miniaturization, especially when it comes to small devices, such as cell phones, hitting the floor. Wouldn't it be great if they bounced instead of cracked when dropped?

A team of Clemson University researchers, led by Apparao Rao, professor of physics, has invented a way to make beds of tiny, shock-absorbing carbon springs which possibly could be used to protect delicate objects from damaging impacts. With collaborators at the University of California at San Diego, the team has shown that layers of these tiny springs called coiled carbon nanotubes, each a thousand times smaller than a human hair, can act as extremely resilient shock absorbers.

Similar coiled carbon nanotubes have been made before, yet Clemson researchers say this method is unique since beds of coiled carbon nanotubes can be grown in a single step using a proprietary hydrocarbon-catalyst mixture.

The group also envisions coiled nanotubes in soldiers' body armor, car bumpers and bushings and even as cushioning elements in shoe soles.

"The problem we have faced in the past is producing enough of these coiled carbon nanotubes at a reasonable cost to make a difference," said Rao. "Because our current method produces coiled nanotubes quickly in high yield, it can be readily scaled up to industrial levels. After formation, the coiled nanotubes can be peeled off in one piece and placed on other surfaces to form instant cushioning coatings."

In earlier studies, Rao and his team, along with UCSD collaborators, tested more conventional straight carbon nanotubes against coil-shaped nanotubes. When a stainless steel ball was dropped onto a single nanotube layer, the coiled nanotubes completely recovered from the impact, while the straight ones did not.

"It's like an egg toss," said Rao. "If you move your hand backward as you catch the egg and increase the time of contact over which the impact occurs, the impact will be less forceful and the egg will not break. It is the same phenomenon experienced in catching a baseball."

In previous work, Rao's group developed a process that coaxes a traditionally straight carbon nanotube to split into a "Y" shape. When powered by electrical voltages, the Y-branched nanotubes behave like tiny switches or transistors that process information.

"Our studies with carbon nanotubes have been ongoing for quite some time," said Rao. "Each step along the way has led to the next breakthrough, and each time we've learned more about how they grow and what their applications could be. We believe that carbon nanotubes have tremendous potential for the lives of each one of us."


'/>"/>

Contact: Apparao Rao
arao@clemson.edu
864-656-6758
Clemson University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Clemson researcher studies carbon fibers for nuclear reactor safety
2. Penn scientists carve functional nanoribbons using super-heated, nano-sized particles of iron
3. Penn scientists demonstrate potential of graphene films as next-generation transistors
4. Scientists demonstrate highly directional semiconductor lasers
5. Conference to Turn Scientists of Color into PA-Based Entrepreneurs Set for November
6. Project Mind Survey of Israeli Ph.D. Scientists Favors a New Standard of Creativity in Science
7. Virtual world is sign of future for scientists, engineers
8. Scientists fix bugs in our understanding of evolution
9. Ten Latin American Scientists Named 2008 Pew Fellows in the Biomedical Sciences
10. Israeli Scientists Recipients of 2008 International Adult Stem Cell Award
11. Weizmann Institute scientists create new nanotube structures
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/2/2016)... More than $4.3 million was raised last night ... ). The gala was held at the American Museum of ... and honored Alan Alda and P. ... medicine and the public understanding of science. Since the first ... has raised $40 million for the Laboratory,s research and education ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... LOS ANGELES , Dec. 2, 2016 ... research and development company specializing in oncology, today announced ... a noted sarcoma surgeon, industry consultant, and private healthcare ... Brien is a healthcare leader with clinical and strategic ... Kriegsman , CytRx,s Chairman and CEO. "As one of ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 01, 2016 , ... ... value of DNA microarray comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH) for HER2 genomic ... Symposium. Using molecular test results from tumors with previously documented positive, negative, ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2016 , ... ... event is expanding to three days and will take place on February 1-3, 2017 ... (GSK) and Dr James Gulley (NCI), the program provides a unique 360-degree approach, which ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016 Research and Markets ... America 2016-2020" report to their offering. ... North America to grow at a CAGR of 12.28% ... prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry ... over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... ANGELES , June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... identity management and verification solutions, has partnered ... edge software solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service ... provides products that add functional enhancements ... partnership provides corporations and venues with an ...
(Date:6/21/2016)... 2016 NuData Security announced today that Randy ... principal product architect and that Jon Cunningham ... development. Both will report directly to Christopher ... reflect NuData,s strategic growth in its product and ... demand and customer focus values. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):