New method for producing carbon nanotubes

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Researchers from McGill University in Montreal have developed a new method for producing carbon nanotubes, which presents an excellent commercial potential.

Carbon nanotubes, whose discovery dates back to 1991, are compounds of carbon atoms in a hexagonal arrangement cylinders regular and firm at the ends by a hemispherical cap. They have remarkable mechanical and electronic properties and have important potential applications in many fields, composite high strength materials, sensors and optical and electronic devices, through the catalysts, batteries and fuel cells.

The method developed by the researchers is based on plasma technology. The term "thermal plasmas" refers to the characteristic state of a thermodynamic equilibrium existing between electrons, ions, atoms and molecules. Thermal plasmas typically show temperatures between 4000 ° C and 25 000 ° C and are created by electric arcs or by magnetic induction.

According to researchers, unlike current production processes that limit the use of carbon nanotubes, their method will increase the production of industrial levels. The Quebec is also an important player in the field of thermal plasmas in the world.

Contacts: Department of Chemical Engineering, jean-luc.meunier@mcgill.ca, tel: + 1 (514) 398 8331

Sources: Newswire, 15 / 07 / 2004, McGill University. Nicolas Vaslier MONTREAL.

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