Research Highlights | Published:

Nanotechnology: Super speakers

Nature volume 456, page 840 (18 December 2008) | Download Citation

Subjects

Imagine a loudspeaker that is bendy, transparent and stretches to twice its length without breaking or changing the intensity of the sound it amplifies. This is what Kaili Jiang and Shoushan Fan of Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, and their colleagues have made. By attaching one of their prototype films to the screen of an iPod they have used it to play sound from the device.

The invention exploits the thermoacoustic effect, which was first realized in the nineteenth century with the platinum thermophone. The effect describes what happens when a material is heated and cooled, thus expanding and contracting the air around it, which creates sound waves. The film on the researchers' iPod generates sound 260 times more efficiently than this historical gadget because the sheets of parallel carbon nanotubes that it is made of warm up and transfer heat to air faster.

About this article

Publication history

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/456840e

Authors

    Comments

    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

    Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing