Touchy Nanotubes Work Better When Clean

Spatial and Contamination-Dependent Electrical Properties of Carbon Nanotubes

Scientists at Rice and Swansea universities used tungsten probes attached to a scanning tunneling microscope to test the conductivity of carbon nanotubes before and after treatment to decontaminate them. The sequence above shows one probe at the end and the other moving along the length of an isolated nanotube.

April 23, 2018 | Source: Rice University,, 4 Jan 2018, Mike Williams

Carbon nanotubes bound for electronics need to be as clean as possible to maximize their utility in next-generation nanoscale devices, and scientists at Rice and Swansea universities have found a way to remove contaminants from the nanotubes.

Rice chemist Andrew Barron, also a professor at Swansea in the United Kingdom, and his team have figured out how to get nanotubes clean and in the process discovered why the electrical properties of nanotubes have historically been so difficult to measure.