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Scrunched together, roughly 9,000 of these Bucky Badgers could fit on the head of a pin. Nano Bucky, created in the research lab of UW-Madison chemistry professor Robert J. Hamers, is composed of tiny carbon nanofiber "hairs," each just 75 nanometers in diameter. (A nanometer is equivalent to 1 billionth of a meter.) The nanofibers, one of several nanostructured forms of carbon developed in the last several years, have numerous potential applications and could play a role in the development of such things as tiny sensors for detecting chemical and biological agents. They may also have use in energy storage applications such as capacitors and lithium-ion batteries. The fibers, and Nano Bucky, are "grown" in a plasma deposition chamber where a mix of acetylene and ammonia gas are used with electrical current to prompt the growth of the nanofibers on a silicon substrate patterned with a nickel catalyst. The pattern for the catalyst is composed on a computer and is then traced on the substrate by a beam of electrons.
Image credit: courtesy S.E. Baker, K-Y. Tse, M. Marcus, Jeremy Streifer, and Robert J. Hamers.
Photo date: 2005

Nano Bucky, created in the research lab of UW-Madison chemistry professor Robert J. Hamers, is composed of tiny carbon nanofiber "hairs," each just 75 nanometers in diameter. (A nanometer is equivalent to 1 billionth of a meter.) The nanofibers, one of several nanostructured forms of carbon developed in the last several years, have numerous potential applications and could play a role in the development of such things as tiny sensors for detecting chemical and biological agents. They may also have use in energy storage applications such as capacitors and lithium-ion batteries. The fibers, and Nano Bucky, are "grown" in a plasma deposition chamber where a mix of acetylene and ammonia gas are used with electrical current to prompt the growth of the nanofibers on a silicon substrate patterned with a nickel catalyst. The pattern for the catalyst is composed on a computer and is then traced on the substrate by a beam of electrons.
Image credit: courtesy S.E. Baker, K-Y. Tse, M. Marcus, Jeremy Streifer, and Robert J. Hamers.
Photo date: 2005
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