Chemical sensors are used for many purposes, such as environmental hazard screening, explosives detection, product characterization, and medical testing. The electronic properties of SWNTs can change significantly when gases and bio-molecules are adsorbed to their surface. These changes can be detected in resistor, transistor, or capacitor devices.
A principle advantage of TFT SWNT sensors in particular is that they respond to analyte surface coverage, as opposed to conventional sensors, which respond to analyte concentration. SWNT TFT sensors are thus well-suited for detecting chemical weapons agents and explosives, which typically occur in low concentrations in situ.
Drug Delivery and Detection
Semiconducting CNTs may prove useful for targeted drug delivery (estimated to become an $80.2B industry by 2014).
Anti-cancer drugs may be delivered more efficaciously and with fewer systemic side-effects using a “smart” nanotechnology platform than by conventional methods. Small-diameter semiconducting SWNTs represent one such promising platform, due to their strong absorbance in the so-called therapeutic infrared window (between 700-1100 nm, depending on body tissue type).
Other Medical Applications
Our semiconducting nanotubes have already been shown useful for dosimetry measurements in medical radiation applications. (Kanga et al., Carbon, Volume 50, Issue 6, May 2012, pp 2197-2201.). SWNT’s exhibit quasi-linear average resistance-dose rate relations that result when their films are irradiated by 6 and 15 MV X-rays.
Photonic devices—such as saturable absorbers—are used as optical switches, optical amplifier noise-suppressors, optical limiters, and mode lockers for producing ultra-short laser pulses. These devices are widely used for optical communications, spectroscopy, and precision surgery (e.g. medical lasing).
Materials which exhibit strong nonlinear electro-optical behaviors are required for most photonic applications. Ideally, these materials should exhibit fast response times, absorb over a broad wavelength range, and exhibit low optical loss.
Our IsoNanotubes-S are one of a handful of materials in existence which satisfy these property requirements.
Large-diameter semiconducting SWNTs are good absorbers and emitters of light in the infrared. Moreover, high-purity SWNT thin films have been demonstrated to be photoconductive and photoluminescent under NIR illumination.
IR sensors/emitters are useful for a number of military and civilian applications.