Scientists at Rice University have discovered that the strong force field emitted by a Tesla coil causes carbon nanotubes to self-assemble into long wires, a phenomenon they call “Teslaphoresis.”
Cherukuri sees this research as setting a clear path toward scalable assembly of nanotubes from the bottom up. The system works by remotely oscillating positive and negative charges in each nanotube, causing them to chain together into long wires. Cherukuri’s specially designed Tesla coil even generates a tractor beam-like effect as nanotube wires are pulled toward the coil over long distances.
“Electric fields have been used to move small objects, but only over ultrashort distances,” Cherukuri said. “With Teslaphoresis, we have the ability to massively scale up force fields to move matter remotely.”