Home Campus Physics and chemistry departments collaborate to make carbon nanotubes

Physics and chemistry departments collaborate to make carbon nanotubes

The Physics and Chemistry Departments collaborated to create carbon nanotubes. Carbon nanotubes are described by Nanowerk as “cylindrical molecules that consist of rolled-up sheets of single-layer carbon atoms (graphene).”

In simpler terms, they’re tiny tubes made of carbon. They’re also very conductive for electricity and are the blackest substance on earth.

Nanotubes already grown
Nanotubes already grown Photo credit: Delaney Lanham

The Physics and Chemistry Departments acquired a furnace for the creation of carbon nanotubes. There are many applications for nanotubes in various fields, including medical. This leads to a variety of different specifications, such as electrical conduction and sensors in medical devices.

Tyler Crawford, a senior studying biomedical science, explained that carbon nanotubes made for knee implants would have different specifications in their creation than ones made for electrical applications.

Student Tyler Crawford demonstrating the parts of the furnace.
Student Tyler Crawford demonstrating the parts of the furnace. Photo credit: Delaney Lanham

The group is also working on infiltration, the process of burning more carbon onto the nanotubes. This makes the nanotubes stronger.

“It’s just…we don’t really know what’s gonna happen,” said Sam Hong, a sophomore studying biochemistry. “I think just every discovery we make in the lab, it’s exciting to me.

This collaboration can open doors for these students and give them a great experience.

Wafers used for nanotubes
Wafers used for nanotubes Photo credit: Delaney Lanham

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