Navigation Links
Spinning carbon nanotubes spawns new wireless applications

The University of Cincinnati has long been known for its world-record-breaking carbon nanotubes. Now researchers at the University of Cincinnati have discovered new uses by spinning carbon nanotubes (CNTs) into longer fibers with additional useful properties.

Breakthroughs Without Broken Threads

Taking technology that has already been proven to grow carbon nanotubes of world-record breaking lengths, researchers Vesselin Shanov and Mark Schulz in the UC College of Engineering NanoWorld Lab have now found new applications by spinning these fibers into strong threads.

David Mast, from UC's McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, saw possibilities in the threads. Mast, an associate professor of physics, took a 25-micron carbon nanotube thread and created a dipole antenna using double-sided transparent tape and silver paste. He was immediately successful in transmitting radio signals.

"It transmitted almost as well as the copper did, but at about one ten-thousandth of the weight," says Mast.

"Then I decided to dismantle my cell phone," says Mast. He created a cell phone antenna, using CNT thread and tape. Ripping the back off his own cell phone, he tore out the phone's original antenna and replaced it with his home-made one. With the "nano-antenna" or "nantenna," he was able to get four to five "bars" of service, compared to none when he removed it.

"That was a very pleasant surprise, how easy it was to do," Mast says. "The hardest thing is to manipulate them. They float on ambient air."

From there it was an easy leap to video, in which he was again successful. "I want to now set up a wireless webcam for the lab using these thread antennas so

Mast says that the key to the new applications is the quality of the material that Schulz and Shanov came up with using multi-wall carbon nanotubes.

"They spin thread that is of such high quality, it opens the door to incredible possibilities," says Mast. "This is just one of many potential applications."

Schulz explains that the carbon nanotube threads work well as an antenna because of something called the "skin effect."

"The electrons transfer well because they want to go to the surface," he says. "Instead of traveling through a bulk mass, they are traveling across a skin."

"Copper wire is a bulk material," Shanov points out. "With carbon nanotubes, all the atoms are on the surface of these carbon structures and the tubes themselves are hollow, so the CNT thread is small and light."

"Carbon thread that is a fraction of the weight of current copper conductors and antennas could directly apply and would be significant to aerospace activities commercial, military and space," he adds. "On any aircraft, there are about several hundred pounds of copper as cables and wiring."

Mast points out that the threads have what he calls an "immensely high tensile strength perhaps five times that of steel and yet they are less dense than steel."

Now that the team has shown the feasibility of such applications, the next steps will be to work on improvements (such as making yarn out of several threads) and to find industries that will commercialize CNT thread.

Mast's next step was going to be to buy a new cell phone. However, he says, "it works so well now that I decided to just upgrade to a new antenna made of carbon nanotube yarn."


Contact: Wendy Beckman
University of Cincinnati

Related biology technology :

1. Electrospinning: Emerging New Technology at Zeus
2. Sheet of carbon atoms acts like a billiard table, physicists find
3. Sheet of carbon atoms acts like a billiard table, physicists find
4. Researchers measure carbon nanotube interaction
5. The sensitive side of carbon nanotubes: Creating powerful pressure sensors
6. NASA Goddard Space Flight Centers carbon nanotube manufacturing technology wins Nano 50 Award
7. Understanding of actuator properties of carbon nanotubes bring micro machines closer
8. Improved wettability of carbon nanotubes opens the door to new possibilities
9. Growing tiny carbon nanotube wires to connect computer chips of the future
10. Carbon nanotubes to be replaced by MoSIx nanowires in high-tech devices says new study
11. FED-TVs with carbon nanotube technology could supersede plasma and LCD flat screens
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Spinning carbon nanotubes spawns new wireless applications
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016   Ginkgo Bioworks ... to industrial engineering, was today awarded as one ... selection of the world,s most innovative companies. Ginkgo ... scale for the real world in the nutrition, ... engineers work directly with customers including Fortune 500 ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Mosio, ... second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical ... eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has signed a ... serve as their official health care provider. As ... provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, and most ... athletes and families. "We are excited ... to bring Houston Methodist quality services and programs ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... ... Supplyframe, the Industry Network for electronics hardware design and ... in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s mission is to bring together inventors and ... brought to market. , The Design Lab is Supplyframe’s physical representation of one ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Research and ... Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report to their offering.  , ... , ,The global gait biometrics market is expected ... the period 2016-2020. Gait analysis generates ... be used to compute factors that are not ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients in ... new clinical standard in telehealth thanks to a new ... higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track key health ... mass index, and, when they opt in, share them ... to a local retail location at no cost. By ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... , March 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has ... CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned to ... the original technical leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, ... Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of Software ... the company. Dr. Bready served as CEO ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):