Carbon nanotubes?

edited November 2015 in Everything else
So I think I made carbon nanotubes by accident. I was working on carbon capping copper. I recently got a microscope so i've been looking at all the particles I've been making. So when I was running the copper 2 weird things happened.

1, the solution was sparkly. Looked more sparkly than a diamond and very much copper colored. At first I thought I'd made metallic copper and threw it under the microscope. Batch 1 (9hours) top batch 2 (12 hours) bottom. Notice one is significantly more sparkly

2. Immediately I could see the long tube like structures you see below. Weirder still I could see the copper. Inside the tube were hundreds of embedded tiny copper spheres. I repeated it today but for longer and the spheres were gone and the tubes were both much longer and more fragile. A few minutes under the microscope seems to cause the longer reaction time batch to shatter spontaneously. I may have just crushed them or something but it was still weird and carbon nanotubes don't usually do that.



In shortish, I think I made carbon nanotubes in my oven using a totally green method and they have some of the strangest optical properties I've seen. Also they may actually be resonating with some electromagnetic frequency and shattering cause the batch today was super unstable. A few minutes under the microscope and they all shattered. Yet the ones still in the jar are fine.  LOL I'll do a video on the process this weekend and probably put it out next weekend. I have no idea and doubt i'll actually be able to do much with these, but the fact that I pulled it off and that no paper on earth to my knowledge has written about this is cool. there was one paper that used PVA and starch and their tubes were better (longer mainly and a distinct copper core(although i've only done this twice so gimme time to optimize and we'll see who's are better)) but they also took 24 hours to form. Mine were made using green tea and formed in 9 hours. 


  • May I ask what you are useing to view those carbon nanotubes? While long enough I didn't think they would be wide enough to be seen through a optical microscope. So if that's the case could those be some other possibly new nano material? Also may I ask how you verified that those were carbon nanotubes?

    John Doe
  • I second this. If you can see your particles in an optical microscope...

    You may just be making long self arranging stands of material...
  • edited November 2015
    Turns out i've made a terrible mistake. All the things that look like tubes seem to be some sort of contamination on the coverslips i've been using. I don't know what they are but it's nothing. I rechecked all my solutions and found a much better answer. I think these guys are responsible for the sparkle, and why the sparkle disapears if you keep shaking them.
  • Hahahahaha! Now you real researcher. Equipment error raises your hopes. Da, this is good.
  • They seem to be some sort of crystal.... Hum reminds me of rock candy, of one of those grow your own crystals kits you get at some cheap online science store. Also if I may how are you taking these photos?
  • with my cellphone aimed down the eyepiece of a microscope XD
  • Simple but effective.
  • Now the question is, "What're those, and how can we make 'em do cool stuff?!"
  • My first thought comes from there optical properties. they're too sparkly for something so small so i got to thinking. butterfly wings aren't often the color they apear. they use microstructures that look very similair to these particles. they literally guide photons and change their color. Or in my case, magnify the light tremendously. would also explain why it twinkls. i bet the light comes out of the flat face of the thing. so whichever way the flat face is pointeing is where the light ends up. If i could grow these on a chip rather than in solution you could make some pretty crazy ass stuff. quatum computers and stuff in theory. but that'd be super hard to control it to that level. at most we could make some interesting optics. The problem though is that they oxidize super fast. just on my desk in solution they turn to black in a day. I want to see if i can quickly get them in a non oxidizing enviornment if i can keep the shine. Then if i can, go from there. I tried a batch for 24hours. doesnt work nearly as well. makes lots but they're low quality and there's lots of other crap. So i need to do a 10 hour batch, get it in something oxygen free, dry them and encase them in epoxy. see what it does.
  • You probably already know this, but gas can diffuse through glass at a very slow rate, so take that into account when storing your new solution. 
  • I would try to store them in a pressurized CO2 environment for that reason. I wounder if these could be used to make a screen that is like a tube, but could place a animation 360 degrees. Like walking around someone. I have use for this on my EEG guitar if that plays out.
  • How are you doing that?
  • edited November 2015
    I am not that was just my suggestion to prevent the crystal from reaching oxygen the posttive pressure and larger molecule would prevent oxygen from getting in even though it would eventually equalize with the outside pressure. I don't think it would be that hard to make, again just my thought if your interested in a blueprint I can draw one up later for you. Sorry if I missled you.
  • Lol I meant how are those sparkly fluids being made. 
  • Its made through a process called hydrothermal synthesis. really simple, basically you heat some solution up, and keep it under high pressure. You can buy a hydrothermal reactor for 30 bucks and then just use your home oven to make use of it. These were made using a mixture of copper chloride and green tea.
  • What quantities and temperatures did you use?
  • almost always 180 celcius. its tea so concentration is fairly random. and a ml of fairly random copper chloride. I'd need to titrate things to figure it out but don't have the need or the time atm. Any amount will work really but keep it to a low amount of copper
  • I got all exited just now then saw you found it to be an error :) 
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