Carbon Nanotube

What Does Carbon Nanotube Mean?

A carbon nanotube is a small cylindrical carbon structure made out of graphene. The tube comprises hexagonal structures. Despite their very small size, carbon nanotubes are very strong. They are currently used for structural reinforcement in applications such as concrete rebar, but could also be used as semiconductors.

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Carbon nanotubes are also known as “Buckytubes” because they resemble R. Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes.

Techopedia Explains Carbon Nanotube

Carbon nanotubes are very small structures made of graphene. They get their name because their diameter is approximately one nanometer thick. Carbon nanotubes are surprisingly strong for their small size.

Current applications include polymers to enchance or inhibit electrical conductivity, such as in anti-static bags. They can also be used in structural reinforcement such as in concrete rebar, but one of the most interesting applications is in semiconductors. Carbon nanotubes could replace silicon in chip making. Carbon nanotubes are grown in a lab using a catalyst predeposited on a surface or suspended in a hot gas stream.

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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.