Shoushan Fan, Kaili Jiang and Lin Xiao, scientists at Tsinghua University in Beijing, have invented a super-thin loudspeaker (one thousandth the width of a human hair).
The material is flexible, transparent, stretchable – uses no magnets or moving parts – and produces sound quality as good as conventional speakers.
An audio frequency current is sent through a sheet of carbon nanotube to generate sound by vibrating surrounding air molecules.
The sheet of film experiences rapid temperature oscillations from the current causing pressure oscillations in the surrounding air, which creates sound pressure waves.
The film doesn’t vibrate or move and can produce sound while being flexed or stretched, bent or even when partly damaged.
The applications for this new invention idea appear limitless.
Combined with wireless technology, the nanotube film could be incorporated into textiles converting your favorite sweater into an wearable ipod.
The film can be laminated to a computer or television to replace conventional speakers. It can be attached to any surface – ceilings, walls, doors, car interiors – anywhere you wish to create acoustical sound.