A pair of physicists at MIT have found a class of molecules that attach to nanotubes without damaging them. Instead of simply grabbing onto the nanotubes, the molecules latch onto the tubes and break some bonds in the nanotube walls. As a result, the sum total of bonds is the same before and after the handle is attached, keeping the nanotube's original characteristics relatively intact.
Researchers led by Kingo Uchida and Shinichiro Nakamura have now synthesized a compound in the diarylethene family whose surface becomes super-water-repellent on command.
Nanoscientists have transformed a molecule of chlorophyll-a from spinach into a complex biological switch that has possible future applications for green energy, technology and medicine.