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September 13, 2018 Thursday 11:06:09 AM IST

First-Ever Coloured Carbon Nanotube Developed

Science Innovations

Single-walled carbon nanotubes are sheets of one atom-thick layers of graphene rolled up into different sizes and shapes. They find large-scale in modern day electronics and new touch screen devices. Carbon nanotubes are typically black or a dark grey in colour. A study published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS), Aalto University researchers has presented a new way to control fabrication of carbon nanotube thin films in such a way that they display a variety of different colours -- for instance, green, brown, or a silvery grey. They have achieved it by adding carbon dioxide into the structures of carbon nanotubes.

This is the first time that coloured carbon nanotubes have been produced by direct synthesis. Using their invention, the colour is induced straight away in the fabrication process. Aerosol nanoparticles of iron work as a catalyst or seed, carbon monoxide as the source for carbon, so feed, and a reactor gives heat at a temperature more than 850 degrees Celsius. Carbon dioxide acts as a kind of graft material that can be used to tune the growth of carbon nanotubes of various colors.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1021/jacs.8b05151