Macroscopic invisible cables
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- Pugno, N.M. Microsyst Technol (2009) 15: 175. doi:10.1007/s00542-008-0653-9
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Spiders suggest to us that producing high strength over density ratio invisible cables could be of great importance. In this paper we show that such invisible cables could in principle be built, thanks to carbon nanotube bundles. Theoretical strength of ~10 MPa, Young’s modulus of ~0.1 GPa and density of ~0.1 Kg/m3 are estimated. The theoretical strength over density ratio is huge, i.e. that of a single carbon nanotube; the strength of a real, thus defective, invisible cable is estimated to be ~1 MPa. Finally, we demonstrate that such cables can be easily transported in their visible state (with bunched nanotubes) and that an efficient anti-bunching controllable mechanism, involving pressure of ~1 Pa, can control the visible–invisible transition, and vice versa.