The Longest Carbon Nanotubes You've Ever Seen!

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have grown the world's longest carbon nanotube arrays using new techniques. These nanotubes are still a little less than 2 centimeters long (which you might think is a little short), but they are 900,000 times longer than its diameter! That is really long!

To grow these tiny tubes, researchers use a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) techique with a new substrate and catalyst. Using a special furnace called the EasyTube 3000, carbon atom vapors are created and start the growth of tubes. These carbon nanotube fibers are longer, stronger, and can conduct electricity better than traditional materials like copper. We can use these nanotubes in lots of different things, such as using them in smart fabrics to make smart clothes or combatting cancer or building an elevator to space!

Source: The Longest Carbon Nanotubes You've Ever Seen!

Gecko Tape

Gecko hair. It's one of the stickiest substances known to man.

Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York have developed some synthetic gecko tape by creating arrays of carbon nanotubes on flexible polymer tape. Based on the tiny structures found on the foot of a gecko lizard, these pieces of tape can support shear stress four times higher than the gecko foot and even sticks to Teflon! Another nifty property is that this tape can be easily pulled off perpendicular to the surface, but not parallel to it. The bond is about 10 pounds per square centimeters, which is quite a lot for something so small!

Since the gecko tape is reusable and won't dry out, the nanotube-based gecko tape could be used in a variety of applications, such as microelectronics, robotics, and space exploration.

Source: Carbon nanotube-based synthetic gecko tapes

New Nano-Inspired Luggage Line

We've seen nanotechnology being used in all sorts of fabrics for clothing and bedsheets, so why not luggage? The Capistrano Light Luggage Line from Ricardo Beverly Hills makes use of the lightweight Nano-Tex treated fabric. The Nano-Tex fabric uses nanotechnology for waterproofing and to prevent against stains. The result? An amazing luggage line that stays clean and looks new!

Source: Nanotechnology-inspired luggage line...

Preventing Earthquakes With... Bacteria?

If you live near the sea, your home is probably built over sandy soil. When earthquakes strike, deep and sandy soils can turn into liquid, causing lots of problems for the buildings sitting on top of them. The picture shows a building after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in San Francisco.

It is possible to inject chemicals into the ground to harden the sandy soil, but this often has toxic effects on the soil and water. Researchers have discovered a new way to turn these sandy soils into rocks... using bacteria! As an added advantage, this common bacteria has no harmful effects on the environment. THought this method is currently still limited to laboratories, researchers are working hard to expand this technique.

Source:Bacteria to protect against quakes