Long nanotubes fabricated

WillWare writes "Nature reports that Alan Windle and colleagues at the University of Cambridge, UK, have created unusually long nanotubes. "The team mix ethanol ó the carbon source ó with a catalyst called ferrocene and another chemical called thiophene that helps the threads to assemble. The mixture is squirted into a hot furnace in a jet of hydrogen gas. Nanotubes form as a tangled mass, rather like candyfloss, and are then wound onto a spindle to form strands… So far, the fibres aren't outstandingly strong ó they're no better than typical textile fibres. But Windle thinks that there's still plenty of scope for improving the process to make stronger fibres, for example by finding ways to make the nanotubes line up better. In Kevlar it's the good alignment of molecules that generates the high strength.""

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