Monday, December 21, 2015

New CNT based device from MIT that catches hard to detect molecules

MIT News Reports: Engineers at MIT have devised a new technique for trapping hard-to-detect molecules, using forests of carbon nanotubes. The team modified a simple microfluidic channel with an array of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes — rolled lattices of carbon atoms that resemble tiny tubes of chicken wire. The researchers had previously devised a method for standing carbon nanotubes on their ends, like trees in a forest. With this method, they created a three-dimensional array of permeable carbon nanotubes within a microfluidic device, through which fluid can flow. Now, in a study published this week in the Journal of Microengineering and Nanotechnology, the researchers have given the nanotube array the ability to trap certain particles. To do this, the team coated the array, layer by layer, with polymers of alternating electric charge.

A patterned and cylindrical structure made up of carbon nanotubes. (Courtesy of the researchers, MIT)

A zoomed in view of carbon nanotubes, showing individual tubes. (Courtesy of the researchers, MIT)