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UC researchers shatter world records with length of latest carbon nanotube arrays

UC engineering researchers have developed a novel composite catalyst and optimal synthesis conditions for oriented growth of multi-wall CNT arrays. And right now they lead the world in synthesis of extremely long aligned carbon nanotube arrays.

UC's carbon nanotube arrays stack up.

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are of great interest because of their outstanding mechanical, electrical and optical properties. Intense research has been undertaken to synthesize long aligned CNTs because of their potential applications in nanomedicine, aerospace, electronics and many other areas.

Especially important is that long CNT arrays can be spun into fibers that are in theory significantly stronger and lighter than any existing fibers and are electrically conductive. Nanotube fibers are expected to engender revolutionary advances in the development of lightweight, high-strength materials and could potentially replace copper wire.

Carbon nanotube arrays can also be grown in intricate patterns using metal masks. The figure above shows a CNT array image of the American flag.

Years of effort by UC researchers Vesselin Shanov and Mark Schulz, co-directors of the University of Cincinnati Smart Materials Nanotechnology Laboratory, along with Yun YeoHeung and students, led to the invention of the method for growing long nanotube arrays. Employing this invention, the UC researchers (in conjunction with First Nano, a division of CVD Equipment Corporation of Ronkonkoma, New York) have produced extremely long CNT arrays (18 mm) on their EasyTube System using a Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) process.

Moreover, in a re-growth experiment on a separate substrate, they produced an 11-mm long CNT array. This array was then successfully peeled completely off the substrate. Without additional processing, the same substrate was reused for a successive growth that yielded an 8-mm-long CNT array.

The photographs in figures "
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Contact: Wendy Beckman
wendy.beckman@uc.edu
513-556-1826
University of Cincinnati
25-Apr-2007


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