Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

Not many things that come up on my work RSS feed make my jaw drop. The video below, which shows a thin-film loudspeaker playing dance music while mounted on a waving flag, is pretty amazing. The nanospeaker in the video is 8.5 by 14.5 centimeters.

Video by American Chemical Society

Made by researchers at Tsinghua University in Beijing, the carbon nanotube speakers can play music just as loud and just as high quality as conventional loudspeakers do, even while being flexed and stretched.

Conventional loudspeakers use magnets and moving parts to produce sound-pressure waves. The nanospeakers work by the thermoacoustic effect. Alternating electrical current running through the thin films of nanotubes heats the surrounding air, causing it to expand and contract, creating sound waves.

These transparent thin-film speakers could be mounted on displays, eliminating the need for separate speakers. But one of the coolest things about the loudspeakers is that they’re flexible and stretchable, allowing the researchers to imagine singing jackets.

The research was published online in the journal Nano Letters.

Stretchy sound: This thin film of carbon nanotubes acts as a loudspeaker when carrying alternating current supplied by electrodes at either end. Credit: American Chemical Society

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Tagged: Materials, displays, carbon nanotubes, flexible electronics

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me