Posted: July 24, 2007

Shape-engineerable and highly densely packed carbon nanotubes

(Nanowerk News) Kenji Hata and Don Futaba of the Nano-Carbon Materials Team, the Research Center for Advanced Carbon Materials of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology(AIST), have succeeded in developing an aligned and highly densely packed carbon nanotubes material that retains the excellent physical and chemical properties of individual single-walled carbon nanotubes.
Individual single-walled carbon nanotubes have excellent physical and chemical properties, but in most cases these properties are lost in bulk materials comprising many single-walled carbon nanotubes. This is because the nanotubes are damaged when fabricated into bulk materials through processes such as dispersion, refinement and pressing.
Carbon nanotube solid formed into various shapes from lithographically patterned catalyst islands
Carbon nanotube solid formed into various shapes from lithographically patterned catalyst islands. (Images: AIST)
The newly developed carbon-nanotube solid consists of aligned, highly pure, very long, single-walled carbon nanotubes, that are combined in a manner similar to rice ears, and it retains the desirable properties of single-walled carbon nanotubes in terms of their electrical conductivity, specific surface, and flexibility. The material can be designed in various shapes depending on the application. It is suitable for use in various applications, such as heaters, or applications requiring compact and flexible energy-storage materials. In particular, capacitors that use this packed single-walled carbon nanotubes as the electrode material possess higher energy densities and power densities than conventional capacitors that use activated carbon as electrodes. Results of this research have confirmed that carbon nanotubes are the key technology for realizing the next generation capacitors.
These research results were published in the online version of the British science journal Nature Materials ("Shape-engineerable and highly densely packed single-walled carbon nanotubes and their application as super-capacitor electrodes").
This research was conducted with the support of the Nanotechnology Program “Project to Create Products through Application of Nano-Carbon” (2002–2005) and the Nanotechnology Program “Carbon Nanotube Capacitor Development Project” (2006–2010), both of which are sponsored by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).
Source: AIST
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