Publication details

Authors: Li, W. F.; Jayasinghe, C.; Shanov, V.; Schulz, M. 
Title: Spinning Carbon Nanotube Nanothread under a Scanning Electron Microscope 
Type: Journal Article 
Publisher: Materials 
Year: 2011 
Start Page: 1519 
End Page: 1527 
DOI: 10.3390/Ma4091519 
Abstract: Nanothread with a diameter as small as one hundred nanometers was manufactured under a scanning electron microscope. Made directly from carbon nanotubes, and inheriting their superior electrical and mechanical properties, nanothread may be the world's smallest man-made fiber. The smallest thread that can be spun using a bench-top spinning machine is about 5 microns in diameter. Nanothread is a new material building block that can be used at the nanoscale or plied to form yarn for applications at the micro and macro scales. Preliminary electrical and mechanical properties of nanothread were measured. The resistivity of nanothread is less than 10(-5) Omega.m. The strength of nanothread is greater than 0.5 GPa. This strength was obtained from measurements using special glue that cures in an electron microscope. The glue weakened the thread, thus further work is needed to obtain more accurate measurements. Nanothread will have broad applications in enabling electrical components, circuits, sensors, and tiny machines. Yarn can be used for various macroscale applications including lightweight antennas, composites, and cables. 
Keywords: carbon nanotubes, manipulation, nanothread, nanotechnology, transport