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  June 20,  2005
Volume 83, Number 25
p. 17
 

NANOTECHNOLOGY

  Nanotube Bristles Give Brushes Unique Properties
 

BETHANY HALFORD
   
 
 

If you've got a very, very small mess that needs tidying up, then researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y., and the University of Hawaii, Manoa, in Honolulu, have the perfect tool for you. Pulickel M. Ajayan, Anyuan Cao, and coworkers have made microscale brushes featuring carbon nanotube bristles (Nat. Mater., published online June 12, dx.doi.org/10.1038/nmat1415).

The researchers start with a partially masked silicon carbide fiber for the brush's core and then grow nanotubes onto any unmasked areas via chemical vapor deposition.

Ajayan and Cao suggest that the brushes could be used like macroscale brushes to sweep nanoparticles out of extremely narrow spaces and to paint the insides of small holes. They could also be used as electromechanical brush contacts and switches, thanks to the nanotubes' conductive properties.

 
     
  Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2005
 


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