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Carbon Nanotube Flow Sensors

Ghosh, Shankar and Sood, AK and Kumar, N (2003) Carbon Nanotube Flow Sensors. In: Science, 299 (5609). pp. 1042-1044.


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We report that the flow of a liquid on single-walled carbon nanotube bundles induces a voltage in the sample along the direction of the flow. The voltage that was produced fit a logarithmic velocity dependence over nearly six decades of velocity. The magnitude of the voltage depended sensitively on the ionic conductivity and on the polar nature of the liquid. Our measurements suggest that the dominant mechanism responsible for this highly nonlinear response involves a direct forcing of the free charge carriers in the nanotubes by the fluctuating Coulombic field of the liquid flowing past the nanotubes. We propose an explanation based on pulsating asymmetric ratchets. Our work highlights the device potential for nanotubes as sensitive flow sensors and for energy conversion.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Science
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Keywords: carbon nanotube;coulombic field;flow sensors
Department/Centre: Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Physics
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2004
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:12
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/229

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