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Carbon nanotubes for next-gen conductors

• http://www.thehindu.com, Vasudevan Mukunth
 New research has emerged from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan, which makes possible lighter conductors that can carry larger currents.

Led by an Indian chemist, researchers have found that when carbon nanotubes are embedded in copper, the resulting new material’s ampacity gets boosted to a massive 10,000 per cent, with an electrical conductivity comparable to copper’s.

Maximum current

Ampacity is the maximum amount of current a conductor can carry before losing its electrical properties. A large ampacity is vital to good performance. However, of late, researchers worldwide have focused more on boosting conductivity than ampacity.

In an email to this Correspondent, Dr. Subramaniam Chandramouli of AIST explained: “A material with higher ampacity and which is simultaneously conductive is required to withstand, handle and transport the increasing current densities of modern electronics.” He is the lead author of a paper published in Nature Communications on July 23.

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