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News Release 06-144

Researchers Develop Method to Sort Carbon Nanotubes by Size and Electrical Properties

Method could make better batches for commercial applications

Single-walled carbon nanotubes are coated in soap-like molecules.

Single-walled carbon nanotubes are coated in soap-like molecules.

October 4, 2006

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Carbon nanotubes sport a long list of powerful properties, from superior strength to finely tuned electrical conductivity. But current methods for synthesizing them yield mixtures of the tiny tubes that have a variety of diameters and properties. That lack of consistency limits their use in commercial technology.

Now, NSF-supported researchers at Northwestern University have developed a method to sort carbon nanotubes that vary from each other by no more than 0.02 nanometers (billionths of a meter).

The results are published in the October 2006 inaugural issue of the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

See the Northwestern news release at


Media Contacts
Megan Fellman, Northwestern University, (847) 491-3115, email:
Josh Chamot, National Science Foundation, (703) 292-7730, email:

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