Static electricity can control nanoballoons

Static electricity can control nanoballoons:

October 13, 2016
Umeå University
Molecular sized machines could in the future be used to control important mechanisms in the body. In a recent study, researchers show how a nanoballoon comprising a single carbon molecule ten thousand times thinner than a human hair can be controlled electrostatically to switch between an inflated and a collapsed state.

Schematic drawing  f two  carbon nanotubes, one in inflated state (cylindrical tube to the right) and one in collapsed  state (flattened tube to the left). The transition between the two states can be controlled by applying a small voltage which charges the tube electrostatically  and thereby changes the state from a collapsed state to an inflated. The applied voltage is visualized by two tip contacts touching each tube. In the image the tubes are connected to two pistons to envision that the phase change of  the tubes could set an imaginary nanomachine in motion.

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