LONDON — The world’s first commercial electric-powered salad platter, which is made of carbon nanotubes, has become a household term, but researchers say it’s far from the best-tasting alternative.
The technology could revolutionize food production in the future, and is already being used in restaurants in India and China.
Its inventor, Eric Leggett, a professor of materials science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says the technology can be made to the same exact thickness as a typical silicon chip, and it doesn’t require the need for expensive packaging.
But, he said, it still has some hurdles to overcome.
“It is not yet clear that it is as efficient as a silicon platter,” Leggetts told ABC News.
“If we want to scale this up and use this in the food industry, we need to do a lot more work on this, because it will be a very, very expensive process.”
The technology is based on a new material called carbon nanocubes, which are made by smashing carbon atoms together.
It’s a more efficient way to make a high-quality silicon chip than a silicon wafer, which has a high melting point and can’t be heated to high temperatures.
Leggett said the new technology is also much smaller, and less expensive.
The material is made up of carbon nano-spheres that are about a thousand times smaller than a human hair.
The nanocubes are so small that they can be folded in a way that the atoms can be turned around by a process called folding.
Leggetts says the new material can also be heated with ordinary electrical current, and the result is that it’s much cleaner than greased grease.
“We’ve got very low friction, which makes it much easier to use the technology for plating,” LeGGett said.
He said the material could eventually be used to make many other things, such as solar panels.
The new technology has been developed by Leggets group at the university’s Center for Nanotechnology, in collaboration with Nanotube Technology Inc. (NTI) of Silicon Valley, which specializes in carbon nanomaterials.NTI is a spin-out of a Chinese research group that started working on the technology.
It says it is the world’s only company making carbon nanoshells for electric-driven salad plates.
NTI says the company is the first to use carbon nanospheres as a carbon-based material, and has been working on carbon nanostructures for years.
According to the company, the technology could be used in a wide range of applications, from plating food to solar cells and other electronics.
For example, the company said the technology might one day be used for making solar panels that don’t require expensive packaging and that are much more efficient than greaseless grease.
It’s also important for the food system because carbon nanofiber can be used as a material for fabricating electronic components.
Researchers are still figuring out how to make the carbon nanoribbons from scratch, but NTI said the company could have commercialized the technology by 2020.
There are many ways that carbon nanobacteria could be created, said NTI director David Smith.
“You could create carbon nanoscale beads, and you could make nanoscales that could be shaped to make flexible sensors.”
NTis new material could also be used by the food and beverage industry.NTi’s new material is also being used by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US, where the team has developed a method for growing a new generation of carbon-containing molecules called carbon-sponges, or carbon nanocomposites.