Nanotube Coating Helps Shrink Mass Spectrometers
- A carbon nanotube-coated paper triangle placed on an ionization source charged by a small battery is held in front of a mass spectrometer. Researchers at Purdue University and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras studied the use of carbon nanotubes to advance ambient ionization techniques. (Purdue University photo/Courtesy of Thalappil Pradeep)
Nanotechnology is advancing tools likened to Star Trek's "tricorder" that perform on-the-spot chemical analysis for a range of applications including medical testing, explosives detection and food safety.
Researchers found that when paper used to collect a sample was coated with carbon nanotubes, the voltage required was 1,000 times reduced, the signal was sharpened and the equipment was able to capture far more delicate molecules.
A team of researchers from Purdue University and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras performed the study, which is detailed in a designated "very important paper" by the journal Angewandte Chemie.
Read more within the original publication:
Rahul Narayanan,Depanjan Sarkar, Prof. R. Graham Cooks and Prof. Thalappil Pradeep: Molecular Ionization from Carbon Nanotube Paper. Angewandte Chemie. Article first published online: 18 MAR 2014. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201311053