Scientists from the Functional Nanomaterials working group at Kiel University (CAU) and the University of Trento have now developed an alternative method for combining carbon nanotubes into nanocomposites. Earlier efforts to bond carbon nanotubes to other materials usually leads to a change in their properties. The team has mixed the nanotubes with water and dripped them on to an extremely porous ceramic material made of zinc oxide, which absorbs the liquid like a sponge. The dripped thread-like carbon nanotubes attach themselves to the ceramic scaffolding, and automatically form a stable layer together. The composite is 100,000 times stronger than the ceramic without the nanotubes.