Researchers at Duke University have discovered a technique for making very long, well-aligned carbon nanotubes and set a world record.
Their technique results in nanotubes around two millimetres long – or 100 times longer than the previous record. Inn order to make the nanotubes they used a flow of hot carbon monoxide and hydrogen gases and a catalyst of tiny iron and molybdenum clusters. As the gas moved past the catalysts, the nanotubes formed in the direction of the gas flow.
By altering the gas flow direction, researchers were also able to make cross connected nanotube grids that may be able to be used as nanosized circuits.