Mass production of carbon nanotubes proved to be a great challenge for the scientists, who faced many difficulties in building large quantities of them. A single carbon nanotube tends to be about ten thousand times thinner than a human hair, so it takes scientists decades to produce it. Many attempts to create the carbon nanotubes in a mass have resulted in clumped and twisted tubes, preventing them from functioning properly.
As seen earlier, a single carbon nanotube is shorter, which means that the likelihood of an error is lower. However, the creation of the longer carbon nanotube would pose many obstacles. The longer ones can become entangled and turned into a paste, which weakens the material. Previously, scientists have tried to solve this problem by coating the carbon nanotube with chemicals. The chemicals prevented the nanotubes from becoming tangled and becoming a paste, but they reduced the strong potency of the material.
A research team from Northwestern University in the United States discovered a new technique for making carbon nanotube hurdles. Researchers have reportedly planned a special way of using it. The authors of the new study are Segi Byun, Jiaxing Huang, Kevin Chiou and Jaemyung Kim. The results of the study were published in the Journal of. Published
Prof. Jiaxing Huang of Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering said in a statement, "Due to their exceptional mechanical, thermal and electrical properties, carbon nanotubes have received much attention for a number of applications." He further added, "But after decades of research and development, some of the excitement has faded."
The scientists working on the study used a commonly found chemical known as cresol for this purpose. Cresol was said to be a component of household cleaning materials at one time. When applying cresol to these carbon nanotubes, the scientists found that the material actually retained the functionality of the carbon nanotubes and kept them separate. With this technique, the material behaves like a polymer. The chemical used (cresol) can be easily washed off later.
Researcher Jiaxing Huang said, "It's really exciting to see that cresol-based solvents can process hard-to-process carbon nanotubes as well as ordinary plastics." 1