David Kirkpatrick

March 12, 2010

Carbon nanotube audio speakers

Lightweight, very thin and wireless when triggered with laser light. One interesting practical application is affixing a nanotube speaker to a surface rendering the entire surface acoustically active.

From the link:

The study confirms earlier research that carbon nanotubes that are stretched into sheets and electrically powered can produce intense , but researchers at UT Dallas’ Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute have made some important advancements.

Although prior studies demonstrated that sheets of carbon nanotubes can produce sound when heated with alternating electrical current, the UT Dallas researchers have found that striking tones can be generated by vertical arrays of nanotubes, called forests, which resemble black velvet.

The team also discovered that high-quality sound can be generated when nanotube sheets or forests are struck with  that is modulated, or “altered,” in the acoustic frequency range.

And:

In addition to filling a room with sound from invisible speakers, nanotube speakers could easily cancel sound from the noisiest neighbor or dim the roar of traffic rushing past a neighborhood, using the same principles as current sound-canceling technologies.

“The sound generation by nanotube sheets can help to achieve this effect on very large scales,” Kozlov said.