Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > UCLA Engineering researchers awarded $4.5M to develop stronger carbon nanotube materials

Abstract:
Researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have been awarded $4.5 million over four years by the U.S. Department of Defense to strengthen carbon nanotube yarns and sheets, materials that hold great promise for advancing satellite technology.

UCLA Engineering researchers awarded $4.5M to develop stronger carbon nanotube materials

Los Angeles, CA | Posted on November 2nd, 2011

Carbon nanotubes are molecular-sized tubes of carbon with remarkable properties. They are among the stiffest, strongest and most tenacious fibers known and also have properties valuable in areas like nanotechnology, electronics and optics. Tests have shown that the strongest single-wall carbon nanotubes are more than 500 times as strong as steel.

Since their discovery in 1993, carbon nanotubes have attracted great academic and industrial interest, but commercial applications have been slow to develop, primarily because of lingering technical problems that reduce the nanotubes' strength.

Now, a group of UCLA researchers led by Larry Carlson, head of UCLA's Easton Institute of Technology Advancement and director of new materials at UCLA Engineering, intends to correct various technical issues, potentially making the yarns and sheets 10 times stronger.

The group used seed money from a donation by James L. Easton, formerly of Easton Sports Inc., to generate early results at UCLA and to align its research with the government's need for strong, multi-functional materials in space.

Co-principal investigators on the project include Robert Hicks, a UCLA professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and Suneel Kodambaka, a UCLA assistant professor of materials science and engineering. Three outside companies will also be partners on the project: Nanocomp Inc., Surfx Inc. and Materia Inc.

Carbon nanotube materials are sought after for various structural applications because they are so strong and yet so light. Reducing just a single pound in a satellite can save up to $75,000 in fuel, additional structures needed to carry the satellite's mass and its fuel mass, and other costs. The nanotube-based materials have the added benefit that they can conduct heat and provide electrical shielding better than the materials they replace. This can reduce a satellite's mass even further, since other support systems can be reduced or omitted altogether.

So why hasn't this been done?

When combined into a composite, carbon nanotubes degrade to about 1 percent of their original measured strength. Furthermore, when yarns are spun out of carbon nanotube fibers, the yarn becomes less than 20 percent as dense as theory would dictate. Lastly, the fibers are currently held together by relatively weak forces, which tend to slide and pull out under tension, causing the yarn to pull apart.

The researchers plan to use atmospheric pressure plasma to carefully open up individual carbon bonds without compromising the overall strength of the nanotubes. They will also attach special organic molecules that can join to carbon bonds on one side and resin on the other.

"Instead of hitting the nanotubes with a sledge hammer," said Hicks, who will oversee plasma and surface modification, "we can go in there with a finely tuned surgical knife and create the exact functionalization we need to achieve a high degree of cross-linking without any loss of structural integrity."

The team will also use a special resin consisting of tiny sub-nanometer rings that can fit between all the nanotubes instead of simply draping long molecules on the surface. The resin has a viscosity similar to that of water, so it flows easily. The resin will provide control over the reaction, creating a super-tough, cured resin inside the structure.

In addition, the team will bond certain types of atoms with the carbon nanotubes to reinforce how the fibers are held together.

"Our approach is simple, scalable and can potentially improve not only the mechanical strength but also the toughness of the carbon nanotube yarns," said Kodambaka, an expert in materials synthesis and processing.

"Here is a case where a sporting goods investment, enhanced with government support, could add to the nation's satellite technology, giving lighter launch loads and tougher space structures," Carlson said. "While this might seem backwards, with volume production and lower costs, it would be gratifying to bring it all back to sports."

The Institute for Technology Advancement (ITA), established February 2008, adds value to UCLA Engineering by capturing and managing research programs and accelerating transition to startup companies. The Easton Institute for Technology Advancement, established a year later with a grant from James L. Easton, develops new materials for sporting goods and aerospace applications.

####

About UCLA
The UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, established in 1945, offers 28 academic and professional degree programs and has an enrollment of almost 5,000 students. The school's distinguished faculty are leading research to address many of the critical challenges of the 21st century, including renewable energy, clean water, health care, wireless sensing and networking, and cybersecurity. Ranked among the top 10 engineering schools at public universities nationwide, the school is home to seven multimillion-dollar interdisciplinary research centers in wireless sensor systems, nanoelectronics, nanomedicine, renewable energy, customized computing, and the smart grid, all funded by federal and private agencies.
(www.engineer.ucla.edu | www.twitter.com/uclaengineering)

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Wileen Wong Kromhout,
(310) 206-0540

Copyright © UCLA

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Strength in numbers: Researchers develop the first-ever quantum device that detects and corrects its own errors March 4th, 2015

New research could lead to more efficient electrical energy storage March 4th, 2015

Energy-generating cloth could replace batteries in wearable devices March 4th, 2015

Arrowhead to Present at 2015 Barclays Global Healthcare Conference March 4th, 2015

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

New research could lead to more efficient electrical energy storage March 4th, 2015

Energy-generating cloth could replace batteries in wearable devices March 4th, 2015

The taming of magnetic vortices: Unified theory for skyrmion-materials March 3rd, 2015

Black phosphorus is new 'wonder material' for improving optical communication March 3rd, 2015

Nanotubes/Buckyballs

Researchers turn unzipped nanotubes into possible alternative for platinum: Aerogel catalyst shows promise for fuel cells March 2nd, 2015

Chromium-Centered Cycloparaphenylene Rings as New Tools for Making Functionalized Nanocarbons February 24th, 2015

Building tailor-made DNA nanotubes step by step: New, block-by-block assembly method could pave way for applications in opto-electronics, drug delivery February 23rd, 2015

Half spheres for molecular circuits: Corannulene shows promising electronic properties February 17th, 2015

Materials/Metamaterials

The taming of magnetic vortices: Unified theory for skyrmion-materials March 3rd, 2015

Breakthrough in OLED technology March 2nd, 2015

Moving molecule writes letters: Caging of molecules allows investigation of equilibrium thermodynamics February 27th, 2015

Graphene shows potential as novel anti-cancer therapeutic strategy: University of Manchester scientists have used graphene to target and neutralise cancer stem cells while not harming other cells February 26th, 2015

Announcements

Experiment and theory unite at last in debate over microbial nanowires: New model and experiments settle debate over metallic-like conductivity of microbial nanowires in bacterium March 4th, 2015

Magnetic vortices in nanodisks reveal information: Researchers from Dresden and Jülich use microwaves to read out information from smallest storage devices March 4th, 2015

CiQUS researchers obtain high-quality perovskites over large areas by a chemical method March 4th, 2015

Arrowhead to Present at 2015 Barclays Global Healthcare Conference March 4th, 2015

Military

Black phosphorus is new 'wonder material' for improving optical communication March 3rd, 2015

Researchers turn unzipped nanotubes into possible alternative for platinum: Aerogel catalyst shows promise for fuel cells March 2nd, 2015

Simulating superconducting materials with ultracold atoms: Rice physicists build superconductor analog, observe antiferromagnetic order February 23rd, 2015

Penn researchers develop new technique for making molybdenum disulfide: Extra control over monolayer material with advantages over graphene February 19th, 2015

Aerospace/Space

Launch of the Alliance for Space Development March 1st, 2015

National Space Society and Space Frontier Foundation announce the formation of the Alliance for Space Development February 25th, 2015

Rosetta Team Wins the National Space Society's Science and Engineering Space Pioneer Award February 23rd, 2015

A new spin on spintronics: Michigan team tests radiation-resistant spintronic material, possibly enabling electronic devices that will work in harsh environments February 17th, 2015

Grants/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

Rice's Stephan Link honored for nanoscience research: The Welch Foundation honors ‘rising star’ with $100,000 Hackerman Award February 26th, 2015

Cutting-edge technology optimizes cancer therapy with nanomedicine drug combinations: UCLA bioengineers develop platform that offers personalized approach to treatment February 24th, 2015

QD Vision Named Edison Award Finalist for Innovative Color IQ™ Quantum Dot Technology February 23rd, 2015

Rosetta Team Wins the National Space Society's Science and Engineering Space Pioneer Award February 23rd, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2015 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE