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News Release 06-144

Researchers Develop Method to Sort Carbon Nanotubes by Size and Electrical Properties

Method could make better batches for commercial applications

Single-walled carbon nanotubes are coated in soap-like molecules.

Single-walled carbon nanotubes are coated in soap-like molecules.


October 4, 2006

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Carbon nanotubes sport a long list of powerful properties, from superior strength to finely tuned electrical conductivity. But current methods for synthesizing them yield mixtures of the tiny tubes that have a variety of diameters and properties. That lack of consistency limits their use in commercial technology.

Now, NSF-supported researchers at Northwestern University have developed a method to sort carbon nanotubes that vary from each other by no more than 0.02 nanometers (billionths of a meter).

The results are published in the October 2006 inaugural issue of the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

See the Northwestern news release at http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/.

-NSF-

Media Contacts
Megan Fellman, Northwestern University, (847) 491-3115, email: fellman@northwestern.edu
Josh Chamot, National Science Foundation, (703) 292-7730, email: jchamot@nsf.gov

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2021 budget of $8.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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