Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International



Home > Press > Scientists demonstrate pathway to forerunner of nanotubes that could lead to widespread industrial fabrication

Author and co-authors with figure from paper. Clockwise from top left: Lead author Yuri Barsukov with co-authors Igor Kaganovich, Alexander Khrabry, Omesh Dwivedi, Sierra Jubin, Stephane Ethier.

CREDIT
Batalova Valentina, Elle Starkman/Office of Communications, Elle Starkman, Han Wei, Hannah Smith, Elle Starkman. Collage by Elle Starkman.
Author and co-authors with figure from paper. Clockwise from top left: Lead author Yuri Barsukov with co-authors Igor Kaganovich, Alexander Khrabry, Omesh Dwivedi, Sierra Jubin, Stephane Ethier. CREDIT Batalova Valentina, Elle Starkman/Office of Communications, Elle Starkman, Han Wei, Hannah Smith, Elle Starkman. Collage by Elle Starkman.

Abstract:
Scientists have identified a chemical pathway to an innovative insulating nanomaterial that could lead to large-scale industrial production for a variety of uses – including in spacesuits and military vehicles. The nanomaterial -- thousands of times thinner than a human hair, stronger than steel and noncombustible -- could block radiation to astronauts and help shore up military vehicle armor, for example.

Scientists demonstrate pathway to forerunner of nanotubes that could lead to widespread industrial fabrication

Princeton, NJ | Posted on September 17th, 2021

Collaborative researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have proposed a step-by-step chemical pathway to the precursors of this nanomaterial, known as boron nitride nanotubes (BNNT), which could lead to their large-scale production.

“Pioneering work”

The breakthrough brings together plasma physics and quantum chemistry and is part of the expansion of research at PPPL. “This is pioneering work that takes the Laboratory in new directions,” said PPPL physicist Igor Kaganovich, principal investigator of the BNNT project and co-author of the paper that details the results in the journal Nanotechnology.

Collaborators identified the key chemical pathway steps as the formation of molecular nitrogen and small clusters of boron, which can chemically react together as the temperature created by a plasma jet cools, said lead author Yuri Barsukov of the Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University. He developed the chemical reaction pathways by performing quantum chemistry simulations with the assistance of Omesh Dwivedi, a PPPL intern from Drexel University, and Sierra Jubin, a graduate student in the Princeton Program in Plasma Physics.

The interdisciplinary team included Alexander Khrabry, a former PPPL researcher now at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory who developed a thermodynamic code used in this research, and PPPL physicist Stephane Ethier who helped the students compile the software and set up the simulations.

The results solved the mystery of how molecular nitrogen, which has the second strongest chemical bond among diatomic, or double-atom molecules, can nonetheless break apart through reactions with boron to form various boron-nitride molecules, Kaganovich said. “We spent considerable amount of time thinking about how to get boron - nitride compounds from a mixture of boron and nitrogen,” he said. “What we found was that small clusters of boron, as opposed to much larger boron droplets, readily interact with nitrogen molecules. That’s why we needed a quantum chemist to go through the detailed quantum chemistry calculations with us.”

BNNTs have properties similar to carbon nanotubes, which are produced by the ton and found in everything from sporting goods and sportswear to dental implants and electrodes. But the greater difficulty of producing BNNTs has limited their applications and availability.

Chemical pathway

Demonstration of a chemical pathway to the formation of BNNT precursors could facilitate BNNT production. The process of BNNT synthesis begins when scientists use a 10,000-degree plasma jet to turn boron and nitrogen gas into plasma consisting of free electrons and atomic nuclei, or ions, embedded in a background gas. This shows how the process unfolds:

• The jet evaporates the boron while the molecular nitrogen largely stays intact;

• The boron condenses into droplets as the plasma cools;

• The droplets form small clusters as the temperature falls to a few thousand degrees;

• The critical next step is the reaction of nitrogen with small clusters of boron molecules to form boron-nitrogen chains;

• The chains grow longer by colliding with one another and fold into precursors of boron nitride nanotubes.

“During the high-temperature synthesis the density of small boron clusters is low,” Barsukov said. “This is the main impediment to large-scale production.”

The findings have opened a new chapter in BNNT nanomaterial synthesis. “After two years of work we have found the pathway,” Kaganovich said. “As boron condenses it forms big clusters that nitrogen doesn’t react with. But the process starts with small clusters that nitrogen reacts with and there is still a percentage of small clusters as the droplets grow larger,” he said.

“The beauty of this work,” he added, “is that since we had experts in plasma and fluid mechanics and quantum chemistry we could go through all these processes together in an interdisciplinary group. Now we need to compare possible BNNT output from our model with experiments. That will be the next stage of modeling.”

Support for this research comes from the DOE Office of Science.

####

About PPPL
PPPL, on Princeton University's Forrestal Campus in Plainsboro, N.J., is devoted to creating new knowledge about the physics of plasmas — ultra-hot, charged gases — and to developing practical solutions for the creation of fusion energy. The Laboratory is managed by the University for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
John Greenwald
DOE/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Office: 609-243-2672

Copyright © PPPL

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

Intelligent optical chip to improve telecommunications: An INRS team uses autonomous learning approaches for optical waveform generators to boost optical signal processing functionalities for current and future telecom applications October 15th, 2021

Using quantum Parrondo’s random walks for encryption: Asst Prof Kang Hao Cheong and his research team from SUTD have set out to apply concepts from quantum Parrondo’s paradox in search of a working protocol for semiclassical encryption October 15th, 2021

Cellular environments shape molecular architecture: Researchers glean a more complete picture of a structure called the nuclear pore complex by studying it directly inside cells October 15th, 2021

How to program DNA robots to poke and prod cell membranes: A discovery of how to build little blocks out of DNA and get them to stick to lipids has implications for biosensing and mRNA vaccines October 15th, 2021

Laboratories

Unprecedented view of a single catalyst nanoparticle at work: X-rays reveal compositional changes on active surface under reaction conditions October 1st, 2021

A simple way to get complex semiconductors to assemble themselves: Much like crystallizing rock candy from sugar syrup, the new method grows 2D perovskites precisely layered with other 2D materials to produce crystals with a wide range of electronic properties September 17th, 2021

Patterning silicon at the one nanometer scale: Scientists engineer materials’ electrical and optical properties with plasmon engineering August 13th, 2021

Verizon and Zurich Instruments join Q-NEXT national quantum science center August 6th, 2021

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Molecular Sciences Software Institute receives $15 million grant from National Science Foundation October 15th, 2021

Scientists discover spin polarization induced by shear flow October 1st, 2021

UTA project aims to extend life of concrete, cement by adding nanoscale wood fibers: Wood fibers key to sustainable concrete, cement September 24th, 2021

A simple way to get complex semiconductors to assemble themselves: Much like crystallizing rock candy from sugar syrup, the new method grows 2D perovskites precisely layered with other 2D materials to produce crystals with a wide range of electronic properties September 17th, 2021

Possible Futures

Using quantum Parrondo’s random walks for encryption: Asst Prof Kang Hao Cheong and his research team from SUTD have set out to apply concepts from quantum Parrondo’s paradox in search of a working protocol for semiclassical encryption October 15th, 2021

Cellular environments shape molecular architecture: Researchers glean a more complete picture of a structure called the nuclear pore complex by studying it directly inside cells October 15th, 2021

How to program DNA robots to poke and prod cell membranes: A discovery of how to build little blocks out of DNA and get them to stick to lipids has implications for biosensing and mRNA vaccines October 15th, 2021

Molecular Sciences Software Institute receives $15 million grant from National Science Foundation October 15th, 2021

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes/Nanorods

Graphene nanotubes provide a shortcut to add conductivity to powder coatings October 1st, 2021

From anti-icing coatings to protection of containers with flammable liquids: heating films with graphene nanotubes enter the market August 20th, 2021

Submerged sensors to control wearable electronics: Scientists in Korea make hand-drawn and flexible pressure sensors that can control a phone from underwater August 18th, 2021

Graphene nanotubes revolutionize touch screen use for prosthetic hands August 3rd, 2021

Discoveries

Intelligent optical chip to improve telecommunications: An INRS team uses autonomous learning approaches for optical waveform generators to boost optical signal processing functionalities for current and future telecom applications October 15th, 2021

Using quantum Parrondo’s random walks for encryption: Asst Prof Kang Hao Cheong and his research team from SUTD have set out to apply concepts from quantum Parrondo’s paradox in search of a working protocol for semiclassical encryption October 15th, 2021

Cellular environments shape molecular architecture: Researchers glean a more complete picture of a structure called the nuclear pore complex by studying it directly inside cells October 15th, 2021

How to program DNA robots to poke and prod cell membranes: A discovery of how to build little blocks out of DNA and get them to stick to lipids has implications for biosensing and mRNA vaccines October 15th, 2021

Materials/Metamaterials

UTA project aims to extend life of concrete, cement by adding nanoscale wood fibers: Wood fibers key to sustainable concrete, cement September 24th, 2021

Nanocellulose decorated with proteins is suitable for 3D cell culturing September 24th, 2021

New substance classes for nanomaterials: Nano spheres and diamond slivers made of silicon and germanium: Potential applications as nano semiconductor materials September 10th, 2021

Patterning silicon at the one nanometer scale: Scientists engineer materials’ electrical and optical properties with plasmon engineering August 13th, 2021

Announcements

Using quantum Parrondo’s random walks for encryption: Asst Prof Kang Hao Cheong and his research team from SUTD have set out to apply concepts from quantum Parrondo’s paradox in search of a working protocol for semiclassical encryption October 15th, 2021

Cellular environments shape molecular architecture: Researchers glean a more complete picture of a structure called the nuclear pore complex by studying it directly inside cells October 15th, 2021

How to program DNA robots to poke and prod cell membranes: A discovery of how to build little blocks out of DNA and get them to stick to lipids has implications for biosensing and mRNA vaccines October 15th, 2021

Molecular Sciences Software Institute receives $15 million grant from National Science Foundation October 15th, 2021

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers/Posters

Intelligent optical chip to improve telecommunications: An INRS team uses autonomous learning approaches for optical waveform generators to boost optical signal processing functionalities for current and future telecom applications October 15th, 2021

Using quantum Parrondo’s random walks for encryption: Asst Prof Kang Hao Cheong and his research team from SUTD have set out to apply concepts from quantum Parrondo’s paradox in search of a working protocol for semiclassical encryption October 15th, 2021

Cellular environments shape molecular architecture: Researchers glean a more complete picture of a structure called the nuclear pore complex by studying it directly inside cells October 15th, 2021

How to program DNA robots to poke and prod cell membranes: A discovery of how to build little blocks out of DNA and get them to stick to lipids has implications for biosensing and mRNA vaccines October 15th, 2021

Military

Putting a new theory of many-particle quantum systems to the test: Experiments show that generalized hydrodynamics accurately simulates an out-of-equilibrium quantum system September 3rd, 2021

NIST’s quantum crystal could be a new dark matter sensor Peer-Reviewed Publication August 6th, 2021

UVA Engineering researchers join quest to demonstrate photonic systems-on-chip: Future applications include faster, more efficient data centers and next-generation millimeter-wave wireless communication July 30th, 2021

‘Flashed’ nanodiamonds are just a phase: Rice produces fluorinated nanodiamond, graphene, concentric carbon via flash Joule heating June 23rd, 2021

Aerospace/Space

The National Space Society Mourns the Passing of Robert Krone, Founder of the Kepler Space Institute: Krone's Visionary and Humanistic Approach to the Study of Space Communities and Settlement Was Unique September 22nd, 2021

The National Space Society Joins the Progressive Policy Institute in Supporting Rapid Development of Space Solar Power: Orbiting Solar Power Stations Would Help to Save the Environment August 20th, 2021

From anti-icing coatings to protection of containers with flammable liquids: heating films with graphene nanotubes enter the market August 20th, 2021

NIST’s quantum crystal could be a new dark matter sensor Peer-Reviewed Publication August 6th, 2021

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




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project