Nanotubes have the potential to make a major contribution to a variety of nanotechnology applications, including microelectronics, hydrogen storage media for fuel cells, scanning-probe microscope tips, one-dimensional conductors, reinforcing fibers in super-strong carbon composite materials, flat-panel displays, and battery materials. Many attempts have been made to develop filled nanotubes, which are expected to further diversify the applications of this new class of materials. The level of success in filling nanotubes has been limited, however, with problems such as low filling percentages and small length-to-diameter ratios.
Scientists at UCLA have successfully produced significant amounts of nanowires within single-walled carbon nanotubes. The single-walled carbon nanotubes were synthesized by various methods and filled with materials from the gas, solution, or solid phases. Length-to-diameter ratios on the order of hundreds have been achieved.
Filled carbon nanotubes are expected to have a major impact in the nanotechnology area. The strong capillary effect in single-walled nanotubes should allow them to host a wide variety of nanoscale materials. This opens the opportunity for synthesis of filled nanotubes with novel electrical, superconducting, optical, and magnetic properties.
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||7,112,315||09/26/2006||1999-258|