Applications of the Structures

Carbon nanotubes have many advantages over conventional materials and devices because of their unique electrical, mechanical, and physical properties [54]. They show promise in a large number of areas, and are being researched and studied exhaustively as flat panel displays [55], ionization sensors [56], fuel cell technology [57], energy storage [58], molecular electronic interconnects for an IC chip [59], advanced composites [60], and as tips of scanning probe microscopes [61]. A key obstacle to commercialization continues to be the need for cost-effective, large-scale production methods.

Other applications of carbon nanotubes include their potential use as atomic force microscopy/scanning tunneling microscopy (AFM/STM) tips, for analyzing DNA, and to create longer-lasting batteries/supercapacitors. Nanotube ropes and fibers show promise and can be revolutionary structures for the future, more than 100 times stronger than steel wool and may be used in armor and, eventually, even cars [62-66]. High-quality flat-screen televisions might be made in the future using field emitter arrays, whose performance is very much better than the liquid crystal display and plasma screen televisions of today. These wide ranges of applications have suggested the exciting and versatile nature of carbon nanotubes. Below, we cover only a fraction of all the prospective applications of ordered nanotube architectures for electron field emission sources, ionization sensors, membrane filters, and nanocomposites.

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