Graphene Electronics, Unzipped

posted Nov 21, 2010, 3:51 AM by Hatef Sadeghi

By unrolling tiny carbon tubes, you can produce superthin sheets with truly extraordinary electronic properties.

TO UNZIP A NANOTUBE, chemists apply a mixture of sulfuric acid and potassium permanganate. This reagent pries open some of the carbon-carbon bonds, opening a breach in the hexagonal cells. Continued chemical reactions proceed down the tube, opening a pathway along the chicken-wire structure, causing it to unfurl all the way down its length, producing a conductive ribbon that is extraordinarily long and thin.

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