Commercial nanotube production

Commercial nanotube production

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Credit: Massimo Brega, THE LIGHTHOUSE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Technician in the control room at a carbon nanotube production facility. This large-scale pilot laboratory unit synthesises multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) using ethylene gas and an iron catalyst at high temperature. A carbon nanotube is a one atom thick sheet of graphite, called graphene, rolled into a cylinder with diameter of the order of a nanometre. In MWNTs nanotubes are arranged concentrically. This unit produces structures with 10 to 15 walls and diameters of approximately 12 nanometres. Carbon nanotubes have interesting properties that make them potentially useful in a wide variety of applications including electronics, materials science, optics and even medicine. They exhibit extraordinary strength, and unique electrical and heat

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