Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Physicists Develop Carbon Nanotube Aerogel Optimizing Strength, Shape And Conductivity

Date:
May 28, 2007
Source:
University of Pennsylvania
Summary:
Researchers have created low-density aerogels made from carbon nanotubes, CNTs, that are capable of supporting 8,000 times their own weight. The new material also combines the strength and ultra-light, heat-insulating properties of aerogels with the electrical conductivity of nanotubes.

Images of aerogels. a) Macroscopic pieces of 7.5 mgmL//--1// CNT aerogels. Pristine CNT aerogel (left) appears black, whereas the aerogel reinforced in a 1 wt% PVA bath (right) is slightly gray. b) Three PVA-reinforced aerogel pillars (total mass = 13.0 mg) supporting 100 g, or ca. 8000 times their weight. c) This scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image of a critical-point-dried aerogel reinforced in a 0.5 wt% PVA solution (CNT content = 10 mgmL//--1//) reveals an open, porous structure. d) This high-magnification transmission electron microscopy (TEM) image of an un-reinforced aerogel reveals small-diameter CNTs arranged in a classic filamentous network.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Pennsylvania

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have created low-density aerogels made from carbon nanotubes, CNTs, that are capable of supporting 8,000 times their own weight. The new material also combines the strength and ultra-light, heat-insulating properties of aerogels with the electrical conductivity of nanotubes.

Aerogels are unique, low-density materials created by replacing the liquid component of a gel with gas and are normally constructed from silicon dioxide or other organic polymers. They are currently used as ultra-light structural materials, radiation detectors and thermal insulators. Aerogels made from CNTs offer advantages to current aeroegels that point towards future applications in chemical or biological sensors.

A collaboration led by Arjun G. Yodh and Jay Kikkawa of the department of Physics and Astronomy at Penn created the aerogels by freeze-drying or critical-point-drying CNT networks suspended in fluid. The process produces a carbon nanotube network whose carbon concentration, electrical conductivity and strength can be manipulated. Critical-point-drying demonstrated reproducible conductivity in the aerogels.

The team also maintained control of the density, microscopic structure and shape of the CNT aerogels, as well as their strength. By adding small amounts of polyvinyl alcohol during processing, very strong aerogels were created. The nanotube dispersion process was optimized to create an even distribution of nanotubes within the aerogel.

The findings were reported in the journal Advanced Materials.

The study was conducted by Yodh, Kikkawa, Mateusz B. Bryning, Daniel E. Milkie and Lawrence A. Hough of Penn's Department of Physics and Astronomy and Mohammad F. Islam of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.

The research was supported by the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pennsylvania. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Pennsylvania. "Physicists Develop Carbon Nanotube Aerogel Optimizing Strength, Shape And Conductivity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070524154616.htm>.
University of Pennsylvania. (2007, May 28). Physicists Develop Carbon Nanotube Aerogel Optimizing Strength, Shape And Conductivity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070524154616.htm
University of Pennsylvania. "Physicists Develop Carbon Nanotube Aerogel Optimizing Strength, Shape And Conductivity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070524154616.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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