University and Federal Lab Researchers Discover Nanotubes Gain Super Strength When Heated
Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Boston College, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have pioneered a strengthening technique for carbon nanotubes by heating them at more than 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit. This high heat allows the single-walled CNT to become more than 280% stronger, and its diameter to decrease by 15 times its original size. The researchers also discovered that when under extremely high temperatures, the nanotube looks pliable, a form that would not be possible at low temperatures. By being able to apply high heat to CNTs, this could lead to tuning the electrical properties of carbon nanotubes for consumer electronics devices, such as cell phones.