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Nanotube membranes are films composed of open-ended nanotubes that are oriented perpendicularly to the surface of an impermeable film matrix like the cells of a honeycomb. Fluids and gas molecules may pass through the membrane en masse.
Additional recommended knowledge
Water may pass through the graphitic nanotube cores of the membrane at speeds several magnitudes greater than classical fluid dynamics would predict. Nitin Chopra and Mainak Majumder in the research group lead by Bruce Hinds at the University of Kentucky were first to observe this phenomenon in late 2005  and indepently observed ( with additional enhanced gas flow observations) Olgica Bakajin and Aleksandr Noy at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in early 2006. 
In 2007 a group of researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, also in the U.S., led by Nikhil Koratkar found that the flow of water through carbon nanotube membranes (without filler matrix, thus flow on the outside surface of CNTs) can be precisely controlled through the application of electrical current.
Among many potential uses that nanotube membranes might one day be employed is the desalination of water.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Nanotube_membrane". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|