April 7, 2004

Carbon Nanofoam

Interesting stuff - one gallon of it weighs one quarter of one ounce. From the NY Times science section: bq. Carbon was known to come in four configurations: diamond crystals, flat sheets of graphite, soccer-ball-shaped cages known as buckyballs and rolled-up cylinders called nanotubes. bq. The new form also consists of narrow tubes, but the tubes are connected in a willowy lattice. bq. "When you see it in the naked eye, it's just flakes," said Dr. John Giapintzakis, a researcher at the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas in Crete, who examined samples of nanofoam. "With an optical microscope, it looks like a sponge." bq. Dr. Giapintzakis's surprise discovery is that nanofoam, unlike the other four forms of carbon, is magnetic. In the first few hours after it forms, nanofoam is attractive enough to stick to a refrigerator. The magnetism then wanes and disappears. Posted by DaveH at April 7, 2004 4:48 PM