Scientists have finally gotten a handle on carbon nanotubes. By controlling where those tiny hollow fibers of carbon sprout up on ultrafine shafts of silicon carbide, the researchers have made brushes and brooms loaded with bristles and have demonstrated myriad uses for the minuscule tools.
Anyuan Cao of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., and his colleagues have shown that they can use their up-to-centimeter-long brushes to tidy up silicon wafers, soak up contaminants from solutions, and provide electric connections for tiny moving parts in microelectromechanical systems.
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