Carbon Nanotube Speakers Are Flexible, Transparent

Carbon nanotube speakers have been created; by sending an audio-frequency current through a carbon nanotube thin film, it can be made into a superthin high-performance loudspeaker that emits sound in a wide-frequency range. The carbon nanotube speaker functions without any moving parts or heavy magnets. The video below shows a CNT speaker sewn onto a small, waving flag.


(Nanotube speaker video)

KaiLi Jiang and Shoushan Fan, professors at Tsinghua University in Beijing, and their colleagues at Beijing Normal University, drew out a thin film from CTN arrays and, then, tested the thin film for acoustic properties.

Shoushan Fan explains that when the team passed an alternating current through their CNT thin-film speaker, the film quickly switched back and forth between room temperature and 80°C. These swift temperature changes resulted in pressure oscillations in the air next to the thin-film. Fan reports the team found these thermally-induced pressure oscillations responsible for the sound emitted by the thin-film speaker.

He notes that, when fully stretched, the nanotube speaker became transparent, causing the team to envision attaching it to the front of an LCD screen in place of standard speakers. Some of the more “exotic uses” they dreamed up for the speaker, he says, included the possibility stitching it into clothing to create a kind of “singing and speaking jacket.”

CNT flexible speakers could provide the essential ingredient that is missing in talking tape. In his 1998 novel Distraction, Bruce Sterling wrote about how talking tape, one of my favorite pieces of technovelgy, could help construct a building:

Oscar peeled a strip of tape from a yellow spool and wrapped the tape around a cinder block. He swept a hand-scanner over the block, activating the tape...

"I'm a cornerstone," the cinder block announced.

"Good for you," Oscar grunted.
(Read more about talking tape)

Update 24-Nov-2008: Ashley found a great precursor to this idea in the works of Keith Laumer. In Diplomat at Arms (1982), his first story featuring the indomitable Retief, we encounter the command microphone:

Retief reached up and adjusted a tiny stud set in the stiff collar of his tunic. He tapped his finger lightly against the cloth. The sound boomed across the arena. A command microphone of the type authorized a Battle Commander was a very effective device...

The Master of the Games stared at him aghast. This was getting out of control. Where the devil had the old man gotten a microphone and a PA system. (Read more about Laumer's command microphone)

In the context of the story, it is clear that the fabric of the tunic itself is the loudspeaker. End update.

From Nanotube speakers - the next big thin thing.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/22/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )

Related News Stories - (" Material ")

Self-Healing Material Pulls Carbon Out Of The Air
'... could seal the punctures.' - Raymond Z. Gallun, 1951.

Shapeshifting Materials Transform By Light
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'- Philip K. Dick, 1957.

Superstrong Multilayer Metal-Graphene Composite Material
Negligible increase in weight increased material strength by hundreds of times.

Amphibio 3D Printed Gill Shirt
'... we can descend and live down there at one of those year-round aquatic resorts.' - Philip K. Dick, 1966.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.'

BloxVox Mutes Cellphone Convos
It's the polite thing to do, and has been the polite thing to do for about four generations.

Superfast Replicator: Volumetric Additive Manufacturing
I can't wait. Bring it on.

DNA May Contain Malware
'You were told to embed the logical pathogen.'

I Can't Resist Worm Robots
'Seen close it was not completely flexible...'

Rplate Digital License Plates Now Legal In Michigan
'Gragg's digital ink license plates ...'

Can Musk Starship Astronauts Use Magnetic Boots?
'Walking awkwardly in the magnetic boots that held him to the black mass of meteoric iron...'

Giant Dolphin Spotted On Jupiter!
'Now at last he could appreciate its real size and complexity...'

Musk's Starship An SF Fan's Dream Come True
Perfect for testing, perfect for fans!

TinyMobileRobots Are Sewer Sentinels
Every movie monster gets its start someplace.

Fishy Facial Recognition Now Possible
'Palenkis can identify random line patterns better than any other species in the universe.'

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

Driverless Hotel Rooms Predicted In 1828
'Did you never see a moving house before?'

Yandex Self-Driving Taxi Is Very Smooth
'The big car was slowing down, its computer brain sensing an exit ahead.'

Shrimp Actually Made Of Algae Is A New Wave Food
Bring in that crop algae.

Cosplay Style Wings Could Work On Moon
'They're lovely! - titanalloy struts as light and strong as bird-bones...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.