Untangling carbon nanotubes for electronic inks
The team have worked with an industrial partner, Linde Electronics, to produce the ink, and this coats carbon nanotubes onto ultra-thin sheets of transparent film that are used to manufacture flat-screen televisions and computer screens.
The university writes:
Carbon nanotubes are hollow, spaghetti-like strands made from the same material as graphene; only one nanometre thick but with theoretically unlimited length. This ‘wonder material’ shares many of graphene’s properties, and has attracted much public and private investment into making it into useful technology.
By giving the nanotubes an electrical charge, they were able to pull apart individual strands. Using this method, nanotubes can be sorted or refined, then deposited in a uniform layer onto the surface of any object.
The work was developed by Professor Milo Shaffer and colleagues from the London Centre for Nanotechnology, which includes fellow Imperial scientist Dr Siân Fogden, as well as Dr Chris Howard and Professor Neal Skipper from UCL.