Scientists grow micro-machines from carbon

March 10, 2011
Nano Tubes

Growing stable structures from carbon nanotubes (Image: BYU)

Scientists at Brigham Young University led by professor Robert Davis have created a new method of growing micro-machines from carbon molecules, including actuators, switches, humidity-detecting cantilevers, and filtration devices.

As a test, they grew a nano-sized version of a BYU logo by patterning the iron seeds of the logo onto an iron plate and sending heated gas flowing across the surface, creating a forest of carbon nanotubes.

They also used the process to make devices that quickly and neatly separate the various chemicals contained in a solution. Their approach is more precise than current chemical separation methods because it gives more control over the channels that the fluids flow through.

Their work appears in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

Adapted from materials provided by Brigham Young University