Carbon Nanotube Illustration

Researchers have developed a approach to make use of a “dry switch approach” — a method that makes use of no solvent — to place optical high quality carbon nanotubes in a exact approach.

As gadgets proceed to be constructed on an more and more small scale, scientists are wanting towards creating methods to engineer supplies on the atomic degree. In a breakthrough that can contribute to this, printed in Nature Communications, researchers from the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Analysis and RIKEN Heart for Superior Photonics, together with collaborators, have developed a approach to make use of a “dry switch approach” — a method that makes use of no solvent — to place optical high quality carbon nanotubes in a exact approach.

Carbon nanotubes are a promising kind of supplies with potential makes use of in purposes reminiscent of light-emitting diodes, single-electron transistors, or as single photon sources. They’re primarily tubes made up of graphene twisted in particular methods, and the way in which they’re twisted is vital for permitting the specified properties to emerge. Creating gadgets with desired properties requires exact manipulation of the place and orientation of the nanotubes, together with a property generally known as “chirality,” which primarily describes how a lot it’s twisted. It’s troublesome to control the molecules exactly, nonetheless, as utilizing solvents or high-temperature therapy inevitably leaves the nanotubes soiled, hampering their optical traits.

To resolve this difficulty, the researchers regarded for a solution to engineer the nanotubes with out utilizing solvents. They experimented with utilizing anthracene, a chemical derived from oil, as a sacrificial materials. Primarily, they picked up the nanotube on a scaffolding of anthracene to hold it wherever they needed, after which used warmth to sublimate the anthracene, leaving the nanotube in an optically pristine situation. In addition they developed a way for monitoring the photoluminescence of the nanotubes throughout the switch, making certain {that a} nanotube with the specified optical properties can be positioned at a proper location.

The group confirmed that following the dry switch, the remaining nanotubes has brilliant photoluminescence, as much as 5,000 occasions as brilliant as the unique molecule, a top quality that makes them superb for optical gadgets. As well as, the group was in a position to exactly place the nanotube on prime of a nanosized optical resonator, enhancing the sunshine emission properties.

In accordance with Keigo Otsuka from the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Analysis, the primary writer of the paper, “We imagine that this know-how may contribute not solely to the creation of nanodevices from carbon nanotubes with desired properties, but additionally to the development of higher-order programs which might be primarily based on the free mixture of atomic layer supplies and different nanostructures.”

“Past that,” says Yuichiro Kato, the chief of the group, “this know-how has the potential to contribute to the event of atomically outlined applied sciences that transcend nanotechnology, by which supplies with exact buildings on the atomic degree are used as constructing blocks to design and construct features which might be totally different from these of current supplies.”

Reference: “Deterministic switch of optical-quality carbon nanotubes for atomically outlined know-how” by Keigo Otsuka, Nan Fang, Daiki Yamashita, Takashi Taniguchi, Kenji Watanabe and Yuichiro Ok. Kato, 25 Could 2021, Nature Communications.
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-23413-4

By Rana

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