Self-healing carbon nanotubes

This rocks!  According to this article, carbon nanotubes may have the capability to spontaneously repair themselves.

One of the major concerns about a carbon-nanotube space-elevator ribbon is, of course, the damage it will receive when deployed.  Meteors, atomic oxygen, radiation, salt water (at spaceport level), etc., all have the capability to wreak havoc with such a structure.

This article seems to indicate that there are some inherent properties of the material itself which would offset/mitigate these problems.

1 thought on “Self-healing carbon nanotubes

  1. Catherine Lind

    I watched the competition on Nova and also a program about about bacterial bioluminance studies by the woman professor at Princeton and found myself wondering why the two couldn’t be combined.
    I don’t have any training in any of these fields, so if I’m just talking through my hat, please forgive me.
    Why can’t solar panels be designed with multiple layers. 1. A layer of solar collectors. 2. A layer of Algae. 3. A lower layer of bioluminance bacteria. Each layer would support the next and each layer would produce energy. There is even a Japanese company which has had success in producing a nano sized engine run by bacteria.
    I also saw an article about imprinting solar cells on a flexible plastic sheet. This would lighten the weight of the solar panels considerably.
    I was also wondering if the nanotubes could be made using bioluminance carbon elements so that the line itself contributed to the light source or if it is hollow as it appeared on the diagram that I saw, could a light source be directed up the tube/s?
    Add to all of that the child solar toy that can be found everywhere that is dark on one side and light on the other could possibly be added into the mix to add the start up needed to get everything going.
    Not the “toy” the process!
    Imagine curved fan paddles with light and dark sides which could spin with the sun, the wind, and temperature differences from one side to the other.
    I started out thinking that you could use bioluminace to run photo cells, but couldn’t find any information on it.
    Well, you’ve probably already thought of all of this, but just in case you haven’t….. Cathy

    PS: I forgot, I also found a site http://www.lightboard.net, which says that RPI has come up with a bright white bioluminance lightbulb which it is getting ready to market?
    Could this be used for lighting the solar panels? As well as using the sun?

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