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Fine Fabric: New, fast way to make sheets of nanotubes

Scientists have come up with a way to efficiently produce thin, transparent sheets of carbon nanotubes that are several meters long and could have applications as diverse as automobile windows that double as antennas and electronic displays that can bend like paper.

Nanotubes, minuscule cylinders of carbon atoms just a few nanometers across, are lightweight and stronger than steel, and they can conduct electricity. Now, Ray H. Baughman of the University of Texas at Dallas and his colleagues have developed a way to produce sheets of nanotubes with an ease and speed that could make their manufacture commercially viable.

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