Microscopic nanomachines may soon be a reality

November 24th, 2007 - 12:48 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, November 24 (ANI): Microscopic machines to diagnose diseases, clean the environment and make the word a better place may soon become a reality, for a Fraunhofer Techologie-Entwicklungsgruppe based research team has made a significant advance in understanding the actuator properties of carbon nanotubes.

The researchers say that nanomachines can be made by combining a range of components, one of which is an actuator that can facilitate the opening and closing of things, absorbing the shock, lift or lower loads, and provide other forms of linear movement.

While previous studies had suggested that carbon nanotubes could function as actuators, the researchers have now shown what they do and how well they do it.

The present study is based on an actuation measurement set-up constructed to perform electromechanical characterization of bucky papers, the sheets of carbon nanotubes obtained via filtration process.

The researchers Urszula Kosidlo, Daniel Georg Weis, Klaus Hying, Mohammad H. Haque and Ivica Kolaric performed tests in electrolyte to allow the build up of the electrochemical double-layer, which is necessary for the actuation of carbon nanotubes.

They measured the actuation of carbon nanotubes by using their special measurement device. The measurements were performed with focus on the out-of-plane strain and stress generated by the structure of interest.

Writing about their work, the researchers said that the device they had designed proved useful for characterising electromechanical properties of bucky paper.

The researchers said that their device enabled them to determine the dependence on applied voltage, electrolyte used, as well as performance under additional load applied on the sample.

They also said that to gain a better understanding of the actuation mechanism of bucky paper, galvanodynamic tests, current/charge controlled should be performed. The device used in the study is suitable for this application also.

The study has been reported in a special edition of the open access journal AZoJono. (ANI)

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