Drawing carbon nanotubes on paper at MIT

Carbon nanotubes offer a powerful new way to detect harmful gases in the environment. However, the methods typically used to build carbon nanotube sensors are hazardous and not suited for large-scale production.

A new fabrication method created by MIT chemists — as simple as drawing a line on a sheet of paper — may overcome that obstacle. MIT postdoc Katherine Mirica has designed a new type of pencil lead in which graphite is replaced with a compressed powder of carbon nanotubes. The lead, which can be used with a regular mechanical pencil, can inscribe sensors on any paper surface.

The sensor, described in the journal Angewandte Chemie, detects minute amounts of ammonia gas, an industrial hazard. Timothy Swager, the John D. MacArthur Professor of Chemistry and leader of the research team, says the sensors could be adapted to detect nearly any type of gas.

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Video: Melanie Gonick
Simulations courtesy of: Jan Schnorr


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  1. She is from MIT which is the #1 school in the world. Think you are so good , I don't think you even went in that college. multi -B $ , SHE IS GONNA BE RICHER THAN YOU SOMEDAY. replied to :multi – b$ loonitic

  2. Still, Lame? Get over urself.
    I'm in talks w a multi-B $ international corp reg a pump/turbine based on my rotary engine. That ME & AE comes in handy when ur self motivated/reliant/employed. Never had my hand held and buttox powdered in a cushy job.

    Oh, look at [the] Lame spelling. Goo-boy. Now go back 2 ur room! No, T, I don't insult ppl but I don't mind mirroring Lamos. That includes learned ones, hence my original comment w reference 2 the old adage When d shoe fits…
    Enough funnin

  3. Look a lame a..hole contributed nothing to commentary on human technology. Lame. Hmm how apropos.

    I've invented radical rotary engine designs and turbo machinery, a vastly superior wind turbine, hydrokinnetic energy systems, and much more. What have you done besides being irrelevant? Oh I know. You're Lame.

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  5. MIT, the whores of Fatherland Insecurity. What a bunch of USELESS tech. There are people dying. This stuff wont help them or fix any of the large problems in the world. Talk about pandering to a small niche and wasting big bucks. Most academia and politicians are out of touch with reality.

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