The Chaotic Growth of Nanotubes

Guest_Jim_* - October 6, 2011 06:27PM in Science & Technology

Researchers at Boston College have observed early stages in the formation of carbon nanotubes and found some surprising results. From zero to four minutes the nanotubes made by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition are very disordered and only just budding. The next stage, from four to ten minutes, consists of longer and more aligned nanotubes, but still tangled together. The third and final stage are all in-line and at the proper length. During this manufacturing process, the earlier stages are removed, so no trace of them is found in the finished product. Though often the aligned nanotubes are what scientists and researchers want, these tangled masses could prove useful for conducting heat, due to their greater density. Computers could use such an application as a means to more efficiently pull heat away from integrated circuits.