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Post at: Aug 11 2021

MIT Generates Electricity from Carbon Nanotubes

Recent Context

  • On June 10, 2021, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have discovered a new way of generating electricity using tiny carbon particles.
  • These tiny carbon particles can create a current simply by interacting with liquid surrounding them.
  • The liquid, an organic solvent, draws electrons out of the particles, generating a current that could be used to drive chemical reactions or to power micro-or nanoscale robots.
  • The new discovery grew out of Strano’s (a senior researcher) research on carbon nanotubes.

How Electricity is generated?

  • In 2010, researchers demonstrated that carbon nanotubes can generate ‘thermo-power waves’.
  • When a carbon nanotube is coated with layer of fuel, moving pulses of heat, or thermos-power waves, travel along the tube, creating an electric current.
  • Later they found that when part of a nanotube is coated with a Teflon-like polymer, it creates an asymmetry that makes it possible for electrons to flow from the coated to the uncoated part of the tube, generating an electric current.
  • Those electrons can be drawn out by submerging the particles in a solvent.
  • By grinding up nanotubes and dipping them in special solvent, it is possible to generate enough current to run important electrochemical reactions.
  • Applications – It could be used to power micro-or nanoscale robots.
  • It can also be used in electronic devices, cathode ray tubes, hydrogen storage cells and Nano-medicine application.

@  Yogesh Pratap Singh


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