Project Overview

NIRT: Hierarchical Nanomanufacturing of Carbon Nanotube Sheets and Yarns and their Applications for Active Nano-Materials Systems

# 0609115
Ray Baughman (Principal Investigator)
John Ferraris (Co-Principal Investigator)
Karen Lozano (Co-Principal Investigator)
Anvar Zakhidov (Co-Principal Investigator)
Mei Zhang (Co-Principal Investigator)

This proposal was received in response to Nanoscale Science and Engineering initiative, NSF 05-610, category NIRT. One objective of this work is to provide science and technology enabling eventual commercial production of carbon nanotube yarns and sheets having close to the mechanical, electrical, and thermal transport properties of the component individual nanotubes. The approach taken is solid-state processing, since this is the only method that is applicable for the ultra-long nanotubes needed for realizing the spectacular inherent properties of individual nanotubes. Another objective is to add higher levels of hierarchal assembly that are optimized for active device applications. While applications focus will be on artificial muscles, project advances will benefit diverse applications demonstrated for these nanotube yarns or sheets: light emitting diodes, organic and electrochemical solar cells, polarized sheet incandescent light sources, cold electron emission displays and lamps, transparent conducting applique's, thermal electrochemical harvesting, and yarn supercapacitors. The last objective of developing a rational synthetic route to carbon nanotubes of one type, by crystal-based reactions that are an alternative to poorly controllable gas-phase-based nanotube growth processes, will increase fundamental understanding of crystal-controlled solid-state polymerization reactions, chemical transformations dominated by three-dimensional covalent connectivity, and enable bulk property characterizations for nanotubes of one type.

Nano@Border, NanoScout, NanoExplorer, and NanoInventor programs will benefit minorities, very young students, the retired and unemployed, as well as encourage people with quite different backgrounds to work together on interdisciplinary teams in frontier areas. Project funding will expand these educational activities, and bring women and Hispanics to work on the project. Our project collaborations with Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Nokia, the NASA Ames Center for Nanotechnology, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Carbon Nanotechnologies Inc., Hyperion Catalysts International, Eeonyx Corporation, and other companies will both accelerate project progress, and help provide clear paths for commercialization of project discoveries.

Source: NSF