Saturday, May 13, 2006

Carbon Nanotube Origami

The Daily Yomiuri has a short article (essentially cribbed from a Japanese AIST press release) about progress in manufacturing single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs or SWNTs). The article is actually a little hard to read, but it seems they've increased the efficiency of production of high-quality nanotubes by a factor of 100, for some measure. They also claim yield is up from 50% to 97.5% for defect-free tubes, though I don't see anything about the length of the tubes...wait, apparently 0.4 to 50nm in diameter, and 1um to several tens of microns long.

But what's cool enough to warrant a blog posting here is that they made a sheet of SWCNT material, 9 microns thick, big enough to fold into an origami crane (tsuru). The print edition of DY has a photo of it sitting on someone's hand, but the photo isn't in the online article. The press release has a different picture, but no scale; it's actually roughly "normal" size -- probably folded from a sheet at least 10cm by 10cm.

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