Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > NASA Engineer Achieves Another Milestone in Emerging Nanotechnology

Optics engineer John Hagopian works with a nanotube material sample in this file photograph from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
Image Credit: NASA Goddard/Chris Gunn
Optics engineer John Hagopian works with a nanotube material sample in this file photograph from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Image Credit: NASA Goddard/Chris Gunn

Abstract:
A NASA engineer has achieved yet another milestone in his quest to advance an emerging super-black nanotechnology that promises to make spacecraft instruments more sensitive without enlarging their size.



This 2010 file video describes work on carbon nanotube technology at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Image Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA Engineer Achieves Another Milestone in Emerging Nanotechnology

Greenbelt, MD | Posted on July 18th, 2013

A team led by John Hagopian, an optics engineer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., has demonstrated that it can grow a uniform layer of carbon nanotubes through the use of another emerging technology called atomic layer deposition or ALD. The marriage of the two technologies now means that NASA can grow nanotubes on three-dimensional components, such as complex baffles and tubes commonly used in optical instruments.

"The significance of this is that we have new tools that can make NASA instruments more sensitive without making our telescopes bigger and bigger," Hagopian said. "This demonstrates the power of nanoscale technology, which is particularly applicable to a new class of less-expensive tiny satellites called Cubesats that NASA is developing to reduce the cost of space missions."

Since beginning his research and development effort five years ago, Hagopian and his team have made significant strides applying the carbon-nanotube technology to a number of spaceflight applications, including, among other things, the suppression of stray light that can overwhelm faint signals that sensitive detectors are supposed to retrieve.

Super Absorbency

During the research, Hagopian tuned the nano-based super-black material, making it ideal for this application, absorbing on average more than 99 percent of the ultraviolet, visible, infrared and far-infrared light that strikes it ó a never-before-achieved milestone that now promises to open new frontiers in scientific discovery. The material consists of a thin coating of multi-walled carbon nanotubes about 10,000 times thinner than a strand of human hair.

Once a laboratory novelty grown only on silicon, the NASA team now grows these forests of vertical carbon tubes on commonly used spacecraft materials, such as titanium, copper and stainless steel. Tiny gaps between the tubes collect and trap light, while the carbon absorbs the photons, preventing them from reflecting off surfaces. Because only a small fraction of light reflects off the coating, the human eye and sensitive detectors see the material as black.

Before growing this forest of nanotubes on instrument parts, however, materials scientists must first deposit a highly uniform foundation or catalyst layer of iron oxide that supports the nanotube growth. For ALD, technicians do this by placing a component or some other substrate material inside a reactor chamber and sequentially pulsing different types of gases to create an ultra-thin film whose layers are literally no thicker than a single atom. Once applied, scientists then are ready to actually grow the carbon nanotubes. They place the component in another oven and heat the part to about 1,832 F (750 C). While it heats, the component is bathed in carbon-containing feedstock gas.

"The samples we've grown to date are flat in shape," Hagopian explained. "But given the complex shapes of some instrument components, we wanted to find a way to grow carbon nanotubes on three-dimensional parts, like tubes and baffles. The tough part is laying down a uniform catalyst layer. That's why we looked to atomic layer deposition instead of other techniques, which only can apply coverage in the same way you would spray something with paint from a fixed angle."

ALD to the Rescue

ALD, first described in the 1980s and later adopted by the semiconductor industry, is one of many techniques for applying thin films. However, ALD offers an advantage over competing techniques. Technicians can accurately control the thickness and composition of the deposited films, even deep inside pores and cavities. This gives ALD the unique ability to coat in and around 3-D objects.

NASA Goddard co-investigator Vivek Dwivedi, through a partnership with the University of Maryland at College Park, is now advancing ALD reactor technology customized for spaceflight applications.

To determine the viability of using ALD to create the catalyst layer, while Dwivedi was building his new ALD reactor, Hagopian engaged through the Science Exchange the services of the Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication (MCN), Australia's largest nanofabrication research center. The Science Exchange is an online community marketplace where scientific service providers can offer their services. The NASA team delivered a number of components, including an intricately shaped occulter used in a new NASA-developed instrument for observing planets around other stars.

Through this collaboration, the Australian team fine-tuned the recipe for laying down the catalyst layer ó in other words, the precise instructions detailing the type of precursor gas, the reactor temperature and pressure needed to deposit a uniform foundation. "The iron films that we deposited initially were not as uniform as other coatings we have worked with, so we needed a methodical development process to achieve the outcomes that NASA needed for the next step," said Lachlan Hyde, MCN's expert in ALD.

The Australian team succeeded, Hagopian said. "We have successfully grown carbon nanotubes on the samples we provided to MCN and they demonstrate properties very similar to those we've grown using other techniques for applying the catalyst layer. This has really opened up the possibilities for us. Our goal of ultimately applying a carbon-nanotube coating to complex instrument parts is nearly realized."

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Lori Keesey

301-258-0192

Copyright © NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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 Links

"Blacker Than Black" (12.02.10):

"NASA Develops Super-Black Material That Absorbs Light Across Multiple Wavelength Bands" (11.08.11):

Australiaís Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication:

Science Exchange:

Technology at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center:

Related News Press

News and information

Nanotechnology and math deliver two-in-one punch for cancer therapy resistance June 24th, 2016

Researchers discover new chemical sensing technique: Technique allows sharper detail -- and more information -- with near infrared light June 24th, 2016

GraphExeter illuminates bright new future for flexible lighting devices June 23rd, 2016

Soft decoupling of organic molecules on metal June 23rd, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Particle zoo in a quantum computer: First experimental quantum simulation of particle physics phenomena June 23rd, 2016

New electron microscope method detects atomic-scale magnetism June 22nd, 2016

Tailored DNA shifts electrons into the 'fast lane': DNA nanowire improved by altering sequences June 22nd, 2016

Titan shines light on high-temperature superconductor pathway: Simulation demonstrates how superconductivity arises in cuprates' pseudogap phase June 22nd, 2016

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

Nanotubes' 'stuffing' as is: A scientist from the Lomonosov Moscow State University studied the types of carbon nanotubes' 'stuffing' June 2nd, 2016

Programmable materials find strength in molecular repetition May 23rd, 2016

Nanotubes are beacons in cancer-imaging technique: Rice University researchers use spectral triangulation to pinpoint location of tumors May 21st, 2016

Unveiling the electron's motion in a carbon nanocoil: Development of a precise resistivity measurement system for quasi-one-dimensional nanomaterials using a focused ion beam May 16th, 2016

Discoveries

Nanotechnology and math deliver two-in-one punch for cancer therapy resistance June 24th, 2016

Researchers discover new chemical sensing technique: Technique allows sharper detail -- and more information -- with near infrared light June 24th, 2016

GraphExeter illuminates bright new future for flexible lighting devices June 23rd, 2016

Soft decoupling of organic molecules on metal June 23rd, 2016

Announcements

Nanotechnology and math deliver two-in-one punch for cancer therapy resistance June 24th, 2016

Researchers discover new chemical sensing technique: Technique allows sharper detail -- and more information -- with near infrared light June 24th, 2016

GraphExeter illuminates bright new future for flexible lighting devices June 23rd, 2016

Soft decoupling of organic molecules on metal June 23rd, 2016

Tools

Researchers discover new chemical sensing technique: Technique allows sharper detail -- and more information -- with near infrared light June 24th, 2016

Coexistence of superconductivity and charge density waves observed June 23rd, 2016

Soft decoupling of organic molecules on metal June 23rd, 2016

FEI and University of Liverpool Announce QEMSCAN Research Initiative: University of Liverpool will utilize FEIís QEMSCAN technology to gain a better insight into oil and gas reserves & potentially change the approach to evaluating them June 22nd, 2016

Aerospace/Space

Novel capping strategy improves stability of perovskite nanocrystals: Study addresses instability issues with organometal-halide perovskites, a promising class of materials for solar cells, LEDs, and other applications June 13th, 2016

Quantum satellite device tests technology for global quantum network: Singapore-built satellite makes and measures light particles pair by pair June 3rd, 2016

Deep Space Industries and SFL selected to provide satellites for HawkEye 360ís Pathfinder mission: The privately-funded space-based global wireless signal monitoring system will be developed by Deep Space Industries and UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory May 26th, 2016

Rice de-icer gains anti-icing properties: Dual-function, graphene-based material good for aircraft, extreme environments May 23rd, 2016

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Marrying superconductors, lasers, and Bose-Einstein condensates: Chapman University Institute for Quantum Studies (IQS) member Yutaka Shikano, Ph.D., recently had research published in Scientific Reports June 20th, 2016

A new trick for controlling emission direction in microlasers June 20th, 2016

A new form of hybrid photodetectors with quantum dots and graphene June 19th, 2016

New approach to microlasers: Technique for 'phase locking' arrays of tiny lasers could lead to terahertz security scanners June 17th, 2016

Research partnerships

Soft decoupling of organic molecules on metal June 23rd, 2016

FEI and University of Liverpool Announce QEMSCAN Research Initiative: University of Liverpool will utilize FEIís QEMSCAN technology to gain a better insight into oil and gas reserves & potentially change the approach to evaluating them June 22nd, 2016

Tailored DNA shifts electrons into the 'fast lane': DNA nanowire improved by altering sequences June 22nd, 2016

French Research Team Helps Extend MRI Detection of Diseases & Lower Health-Care Costs: CEA, INSERM and G2ELab Brings Grenoble Regionís Expertise In Advanced Medicine & Magnetism Applications to H2020 IDentIFY Project June 21st, 2016

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







Car Brands
Buy website traffic