Recently, with the support of the Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission, the team of Professor Wei Fei of Tsinghua University successfully prepared a single carbon nanotube with a length of more than half a meter, setting a new world record, which is also the highest length of all one-dimensional nanomaterials. At the same time, scientists at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom have developed a carbon-made wire with excellent strength and very light weight. It is composed of many carbon nanotubes, its strength is 30 times that of copper wire, and its weight is less than one-tenth of copper wire. In addition, studies have pointed out that carbon nanotubes will replace silicon as a new generation of processor chip materials. Major breakthroughs in carbon nanotube research at home and abroad will bring impetus to the development of the robot industry. Carbon nanotube-related stocks such as Nanfeng Chemical, Jianghai, and China Baoan are worthy of attention.
The longest carbon nanotube was born in Beijing
Recently, with the support of the Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission, the team of Professor Wei Fei of Tsinghua University successfully prepared a single carbon nanotube with a length of more than half a meter, setting a new world record, which is also the highest length of all one-dimensional nanomaterials. Relevant content was recently published online in the internationally renowned journal “American Chemical Society Nano”.
Carbon nanotubes are one of the materials with the best mechanical properties discovered so far, and their tensile strength per unit mass is 276 times that of steel, far exceeding other materials. “Scientific American” magazine once proposed the tempting dream of “building a ladder between the earth and the moon”, but the only material that can span such a long distance without being broken by its own weight is carbon nanotubes, and they are prepared in batches. It has macroscopic length, theoretical mechanical properties, and a single length reaches meter level or even kilometer level.
For carbon nanotubes, the deactivation of the catalyst during the high-temperature growth process is an irreversible law, which limits the length of the carbon nanotubes; and, with the deactivation of the catalyst, the density of the long carbon nanotubes will drop sharply. Therefore, increasing the probability of its catalytic activity as much as possible is the only way to further increase the length of carbon nanotubes. Wei Fei’s team gave full play to the interdisciplinary advantages of material preparation and chemical engineering (marketing area) technology, and made a lot of improvements and innovations in manufacturing equipment and preparation processes. For the first time, the catalyst activity probability of growing carbon nanotubes per millimeter length was increased to more than 99.5%. , and finally successfully prepared a single carbon nanotube with a length of more than half a meter.
Carbon wire helps the Robot Industry
While producing the longest carbon nanotubes in China, foreign scientists have also achieved breakthroughs in the application of carbon nanotubes. According to a recent report by the Physicist Organization Network, scientists at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom have developed a carbon-based wire with excellent strength and very light weight, which is expected to become a strong competitor to copper wires in the future. In the experiments, the wires consisted of many carbon nanotubes, which were 30 times stronger than copper wires and less than one-tenth the weight of copper wires.
Due to their strength and light weight, wires made of pure carbon nanotubes will have many exciting new uses: for example, they can be used in Robotic arms or in the connection of moving parts in airplanes and cars. In many cases, weight is of decisive value. For example, a large space satellite uses copper, which accounts for one-third of its total mass, about 15 tons; a Boeing 747 jetliner uses copper wires with a total length of more than 215 kilometers and a total weight of more than 2 tons. If all or part of the copper wires are replaced with carbon wires, the changes in performance, load and efficiency will be immeasurable.
National Grid spokesperson Gillian West said that the advantage of this carbon wire lies in its effective operation at high temperatures, which will greatly extend the service life of equipment and lines, and reduce the operation and maintenance costs of enterprises. In addition, carbon wires will be easier to transport and install due to their lighter weight compared to copper wires.
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