Good news for Rumpelstiltskin. Scientists have made another advance toward spinning the world's strongest fibers out of molecule-thin nanotubes.
Last year, Jie Liu of Duke University in Durham, N.C., and his colleagues grew carbon nanotubes up to 4 millimeters in length (SN: 5/3/03, p. 275: Nanoscale Networks: Superlong nanotubes can form a grid). Now, he and his collaborators at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico have pushed the limits of nanotube growth by a factor of 10. In the October Nature Materials, they report making carbon nanotubes a full 4 centimeters long.