Carbon Nanotubes Found to Fluoresce

from the clean-them-up-and-they-will-shine dept.
Gina Miller writes "An article on Small Times features work by Rice University's Richard Smalley and group and the photophysics research team of chemist R. Bruce Weisman. The research [Band Gap Fluorescence from Individual Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes, Science 297, 26 July 2002, pp. 593-596] details how individual carbon nanotubes, disaggregated by sonication and kept separated by coating with the detergent molecule sodium dodecylsulfate, absorb light and then fluoresce (give off light) in the near-infrared spectrum. Because human tissue is nearly transparent in this spectral region, this work may one day be useful for inexpensive bioimaging, optical biosensors to diagnose abnormal cells within the body, and nanoelectronics."

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