The strength and resilience of spider silk juxtaposed with the
microscopical dimension of a nanotube can lead to electricity and heat
conducting devices, says a study.
Eden Steven, a physicist at Florida
State University's MagLab facility, discovered during his experiments
with spider silk a strong polymer which is remarkably flexible and
completely biodegradable and carbon nanotubes that simple methods could
result in surprising and environmental friendly outcomes.
understand basic science and how nature works, all we need to do is find
a way to harness it," Steven said. "If we can find a smart way to
harness it, then we can use it to create a new, cleaner technology."
The findings of the research are now published online in a journal Nature Communications.
is the lead investigator on the paper "Carbon nanotubes on a spider
silk scaffold". The experiment may result in practical applications in
electrical conductivity, reports Science Daily.
Think of a
nanotube as a one-atom thick sheet of carbon that has been rolled into
an infinitesimally tiny tube. A nanotube's diameter is atleast 10,000
times smaller than a strand of human hair. When things get that
microscopically minute, they act very strange, say physicists.
worldwide are intrigued by the properties of carbon nanotubes,
including their amazing strength and ability to conduct electricity and
"It turns out that this high-grade, remarkable material has
many functions," Steven said about the spider silk coated in carbon
nanotubes. "It can be used as a humidity sensor, a strain sensor, an
actuator (a device that acts as an artificial muscle, for lifting
weights and more) and as an electrical wire."
(Image credit: MagLab)