Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are the allotropic forms of carbon that are made using chemical vapor deposition. Due to their versatile nature to be chemically, electronically, and medically beneficial, they are being used in all kinds of industries. The researches today show that carbon nanotubes can be effective in revolutionizing biomedicine. They can be transformed into sophisticated biosensing and biocompatible drug delivery systems for patients who suffer from specific diseases in areas of their bodies like a tumor. These carbon nanotubes can target the tumor cells and eliminate them completely.
Carbon nanotubes are becoming a foundation for several innovations across many industries. Here are the five known applications of these nanotubes.
Studying the terahertz laser
Carbon nanotubes are made in the shape of small cupcakes by aligning the tubes in arrays that are then grown on silicon. Then, using a razor, these arrays of carbon are sliced off and placed on top of a laser power detector. This application is used today to detect terahertz radiation. Since terahertz can penetrate materials like plastic, clothing, and biological tissues, it is an important security application. Since terahertz was too powerful to get measured before, carbon nanotubes have made this job easier for researchers.
Cleaning polluted water
Carbon is a good absorbent, which makes it a powerful liquid and gas filter. Scientists have found ways to use carbon nanotubes to remove the contaminants from the water completely. Due to the large surface area of carbon nanotubes, they can become dust resistant elements for water filtration. The carbon nanotube water filters are also used to filter water-soluble pollutants. However, its application in common water filters is still under research due to several health questions that still remain unanswered.
Boosting solar storage
Carbon nanotubes can be a great component to store more energy into compact batteries for solar power plants. The researchers conducted a study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and have introduced a solar thermal fuel that can store up to 10,000 times more energy than the previous applications. The new system uses carbon nanotubes that are modified with azobenzene. The compound is said to provide the same energy storage as lithium-ion batteries but will also store more energy than ever. It is a new application for solar energy powerplants that is yet to get commercialized.
Molecular syringes and probes
The use of carbon nanotubes in biomedicine is being explored by researchers as you are reading this. Carbon nanotubes can be useful in creating needles that will be used for injecting drugs into patients. It can also work as an accurate syringe to inject genes into sick cells in the body. CNTs also have great physical properties, including thermal and electrical conductivity. The nanotube probes can be used for testing several new procedures for cell membranes.