Carbon Nanotube Illustration

Carbon Nanotube Breakthrough: Engineering Matter on the Atomic Stage

Carbon Nanotube Illustration

Researchers have developed a method to make use of a “dry switch method” — a method that makes use of no solvent — to place optical high quality carbon nanotubes in a exact method.

As gadgets proceed to be constructed on an more and more small scale, scientists are wanting towards creating methods to engineer supplies on the atomic degree. In a breakthrough that can contribute to this, printed in Nature Communications, researchers from the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Analysis and RIKEN Middle for Superior Photonics, together with collaborators, have developed a method to make use of a “dry switch method” — a method that makes use of no solvent — to place optical high quality carbon nanotubes in a exact method.

Carbon nanotubes are a promising kind of supplies with potential makes use of in functions reminiscent of light-emitting diodes, single-electron transistors, or as single photon sources. They’re basically tubes made up of graphene twisted in particular methods, and the best way they’re twisted is crucial for permitting the specified properties to emerge. Creating gadgets with desired properties requires exact manipulation of the place and orientation of the nanotubes, together with a property referred to as “chirality,” which basically describes how a lot it’s twisted. It’s tough to control the molecules exactly, nonetheless, as utilizing solvents or high-temperature therapy inevitably leaves the nanotubes soiled, hampering their optical traits.

To unravel this challenge, the researchers appeared for a method to engineer the nanotubes with out utilizing solvents. They experimented with utilizing anthracene, a chemical derived from oil, as a sacrificial materials. Primarily, they picked up the nanotube on a scaffolding of anthracene to hold it wherever they needed, after which used warmth to sublimate the anthracene, leaving the nanotube in an optically pristine situation. In addition they developed a technique for monitoring the photoluminescence of the nanotubes through the switch, making certain {that a} nanotube with the specified optical properties can be positioned at a proper location.

The group confirmed that following the dry switch, the remaining nanotubes has vivid photoluminescence, as much as 5,000 instances as vivid as the unique molecule, a high quality that makes them perfect for optical gadgets. As well as, the group was capable of exactly place the nanotube on high of a nanosized optical resonator, enhancing the sunshine emission properties.

In response to Keigo Otsuka from the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Analysis, the primary creator of the paper, “We consider that this know-how may contribute not solely to the creation of nanodevices from carbon nanotubes with desired properties, but in addition to the development of higher-order techniques which are based mostly on the free mixture of atomic layer supplies and different nanostructures.”

“Past that,” says Yuichiro Kato, the chief of the group, “this know-how has the potential to contribute to the event of atomically outlined applied sciences that transcend nanotechnology, during which supplies with exact constructions on the atomic degree are used as constructing blocks to design and construct features which are completely different from these of current supplies.”

Reference: 25 Might 2021, Nature Communications.
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-23413-4

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