Nature reports that a new form of carbon was created when physicists at the Australian National University in bombarded a carbon target with a laser. As the carbon reached temperatures of around 10000 °C, it formed an intersecting web of carbon tubes called a ‘nanofoam’. This is said to be a fifth form of carbon known after graphite, diamond, buckminsterfullerenes (buckyballs), and nanotubes. The foam is attracted to magnets. This may lead to new uses.1
Abstract1: Magnetic carbon ‘nanofoam’ could find medical applications.Researchers have created a new form of carbon: a spongy solid that is extremely lightweight and, unusually, attracted to magnets. The foam could one day help treat cancer and enhance brain scans, say the inventors.
WebElements December 9th, 2009