Ah nanotubes. Is there anything you can’t almost possibly do? Well, now you can add bouncy mobile phones to the list because a team of Clemson University researchers have developed a way to make beds of tiny, shock-absorbing coiled carbon nanotubes which could be used to cushion objects from damaging impacts. They hope that these coiled nanotubes could be used in everything from body armour to mobile phones in the near future.
Coiled nanotubes are nothing new, but the real breakthrough for the Clemson team has come in the production process. The problem was that no one had developed a way to make these nanotubes in a substantial quantity at an reasonable price. Their new method can mass produce the nanotubes in a single step using proprietary hydrocarbon-catalyst mixture. After forming, these beds can be peeled off and slapped onto an object to create an instant layer of protection. As promising as all this sounds, it will have to be relegated to the “only time will tell” pile until actual products start rolling out. [Science Daily]