We’ve been talking a while ago about Michael Strano and his thin carbon nanotubes that can transform fuel poured onto them into electricity. A chemical reaction is set up by heating the nanotubes, triggering the transformation at a speed of 10 meters per second.
Now Strano is back with new results of his experiments. He studies carbon nanotubes with never seen before sizes, such as 1.7 nanometers in diameter and 500 microns long. For the first time, he was able to trap, detect and count single molecules at room temperatures by using the carbon nanopores.
The single molecules under study can move across the nanotubes one at a time in a process called coherence resonance. “This has never been shown before for any inorganic system to date,” says Strano, “but it underpins the workings of biological ion channels.”
“Carbon nanotubes continue to teach us new things — thermopower waves as a first discovery open a new space of power generation and reactive wave physics,” Strano says.
This way of storing energy has caught the attention of the 57th International Symposium and Exhibition at the Albuquerque Convention Center is New Mexico, where Strano and his MIT colleagues reported the news and next steps to take on the long road of storing energy in carbon nanotubes through the thermopower wave effect, described earlier in this article.