Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UCLA Chemists Report New Method For Producing Carbon Nanoscrolls, An Alternative To Nanotubes

Date:
March 6, 2003
Source:
University Of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
UCLA chemists report in the Feb. 28 issue of Science a room-temperature chemical method for producing a new form of carbon called carbon nanoscrolls. Nanoscrolls are closely related to the much touted carbon nanotubes -- which may have numerous industrial applications -- but have significant advantages over them.

UCLA chemists report in the Feb. 28 issue of Science a room-temperature chemical method for producing a new form of carbon called carbon nanoscrolls. Nanoscrolls are closely related to the much touted carbon nanotubes -- which may have numerous industrial applications -- but have significant advantages over them, said Lisa Viculis and Julia Mack, the lead authors of the Science article and graduate students in the laboratory of Richard B. Kaner, UCLA professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

"If nanotubes can live up to all their predicted promise, then we believe that we have a method for making analogous materials for a fraction of the cost," Mack said.

Nanotubes are pure carbon sheets in a tubular form, capped at each end. Viculis and Mack's carbon nanoscrolls are also pure carbon but the sheets are curled up, without the caps on the ends, potentially allowing access to significant additional surface area. While nanotubes are normally made at high temperatures, nanoscrolls can be produced at room temperature.

"Our method involves scrolling sheets of graphite, which could give us a much higher surface area," Viculis said.

"If we can access the entire surface area on both sides of the carbon sheets -- unlike with carbon nanotubes, where only the outside surface is accessible -- then we could adsorb twice the amount of hydrogen -- an enormous increase," Mack said, "improving on hydrogen storage for fuel (an alternative to fossil fuels)."

"Nanoscrolls can be made by a relatively inexpensive and scalable process at low temperatures," Mack said. "Our starting materials are just graphite and potassium metal. The idea is beautiful in its simplicity."

"Carbon surfaces are known to adsorb hydrogen. A difficulty with using hydrogen as a fuel source for cars, instead of gas, is obtaining a material capable of storing enough hydrogen to make the approach feasible," Viculis said.

"Carbon nanoscrolls could make pollution-free, hydrogen-powered cars better than they would otherwise be," said Kaner, the third co-author on the Science paper. "This research is a good start. We have a long way to go. For this approach to work well, we need to get down to individual carbon layers, and we are not there yet. On average, the nanoscrolls are 40 layers thick. We have not yet realized the full surface area or all the properties we are after. The challenge is to reduce the nanoscrolls to individual layers. We have many good leads, and have started new collaborations."

The research may lead to numerous applications.

"For electronic applications, nanotubes may work well," Kaner said. "For applications where high surface area is important -- such as hydrogen storage, or energy storage in super-capacitors -- these nanoscrolls may be better."

Other possible applications for nanoscrolls, Kaner said, include lightweight but strong materials for planes and cars, and improved graphite-based tennis rackets and golf clubs.

Kaner, Viculis and Mack are collaborating on mechanical properties and applications with H. Thomas Hahn, UCLA's Raytheon Professor of Manufacturing Engineering, and chair of the UCLA Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

"We see this research as a jumping-off point," Viculis said. "We believe it will give people ideas. Colleagues are finding us for collaborations, in engineering as well as chemistry."

Viculis, Mack and Kaner, who have been working on this project together for more than two years, have continued to make significant progress even in the time since they submitted the Science paper.

The research is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and UCLA's Academic Senate.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California - Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California - Los Angeles. "UCLA Chemists Report New Method For Producing Carbon Nanoscrolls, An Alternative To Nanotubes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 March 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/03/030306075829.htm>.
University Of California - Los Angeles. (2003, March 6). UCLA Chemists Report New Method For Producing Carbon Nanoscrolls, An Alternative To Nanotubes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/03/030306075829.htm
University Of California - Los Angeles. "UCLA Chemists Report New Method For Producing Carbon Nanoscrolls, An Alternative To Nanotubes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/03/030306075829.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) If you've ever watched "Back to the Future Part II" and wanted to get your hands on a hoverboard, well, you might soon be in luck. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) British scientists have developed a prototype graphene paint that can make coatings which are resistant to liquids, gases, and chemicals. The team says the paint could have a variety of uses, from stopping ships rusting to keeping food fresher for longer. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins