Carbon Nanotubes Could Create Buildings That Move

by , 10/25/10
filed under: Green Materials, Innovation

carbon nanotube, decker yeadon, nanoink, nanotechnology, building materials, green design

File this in the creepy yet useful category: architectural research firm Decker Yeadon is currently researching how carbon nanotubes may one day create a building material able to move without motors. This means that one day your windows might be able to open and close independent of you, but completely responsive to a number of other factors such as room temperature, with no mechanical parts required.

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Decker Yeadon’s secret sauce is called NanoINK, a compound made out of carbon nanotubes, deionized water, and a chemical surfactant that helps nanotubes disperse in water. The material grants the electrical properties of nanotubes onto substrates coated with NanoINK, i.e. paper or cotton fiber. This means that one day regular office paper would have the ability to conduct electricity when coated with NanoINK.

Sound far off? It’s not. Decker Yeadon has already demonstrated NanoINK’s feasibility in the lab. Next stop: commercialization.

+ Decker Yeadon


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  1. artistkali June 18, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    I was thinking The intitual growth of carbon nano tubes seems like an oxide layer on a metal surface?,copper for example, which would only grow to about 1 mm high, and unfortunately grow only vertically too, making it harder to join sheets horizontally, ideally horizontal tubes 10 feet long for sheets, or ropes, i get the feeling to join sheets, pure oxygen and hyrdogen under pressure would help, as a catalyst, along with copper nano particles, … But to growth 10 feet lengths would require extending the oxidisation size from 1mm, to 10 feet by using a vacuum tube underneath, (like a old tv tube) I have seen pieces of carbon ash attact to the center of a old tv from 2 feet away, static electricity magnetism may hold the answer to controling carbon nano tube growth… To further this thought, I have a very unusual magnet at home, that magnetises carbon? A Carbon magnet, it was a random discovery, simply a six sided silver plated on brass ash tray with a perforated edge, that was placed on a statically charged plastic surface, and made small pieces of carbon ash, jump in the air into a 3 dimensional fountain shape, the classic apple magnetic field shape, but about 10 inches wide and high, quite a large field?…. I think my point is random static electricity became Ordered into a structured magnetic field shape, by this ashtray, and controlled the exact motion and position of small pieces of carbon.

  2. MIT Researchers Find Gr... November 10, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    […] Carbon nanotubes are a cutting-edge component used in the fields of electronics, medicine and industrial design due to their size, strength and electrical properties. However during their production, large amounts of greenhouse gases, including hazardous air pollutants, are released into the atmosphere. On top of that, several hundred tons of chemicals are used in their manufacturing. However in a paper published last week by ACS Nano, researchers reported that they have devised a method that reduces the harmful by-products of carbon nantube production by a factor of 100. […]

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