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Tiny tubes of carbon

At the University of Surrey, scientists are using tiny tubes of carbon as wires. These carbon nanotubes can be as small as one nanometre wide.

When carbon is burnt in helium, carbon nanotubes form part of the soot. The tubes stick together in clumps, but can be picked up one at a time using a tiny set of tweezers called a 'nano-manipulator'.

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Animation of a carbon nanotube, each blue blob is a carbon atom.
Image: Chris Ewels

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    Image: Veeco Instruments Inc.

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