Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Plumbing nanotubes: automatable?

Scientist from Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology have managed to fuse carbon nanotubes using a controlled electric current. I'm thinking that the method sounds simple enough to automate, maybe on a nems or mems chip. With CN's high length to width ratio it should be a simple matter to get a series if individual tubes aligned, maybe in open "trench" arrangements. Then a series of electrostatic rotors could drive the tubes into by-pass alignment prior to fusing them. An on-chip STM could check them for quality, maybe another could perform spot repairs on tube discontinuities. This would allow for unlimited tube lengths.



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