Carbon Nanotubes: Challenging the Limits of the Performance of Materials
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are a new material discovered by Dr. Sumio Iijima. Single wall CNTs (SWCNTs) have various superior properties and are expected to be used for various applications; howrver, they are difficult to synthesize. AIST has investigated the synthesis of SWCNTs and developed the high-performance e-DIPS method and the low-cost Super-Growth method, and is working towards the practical use of SWCNTs.
For practical use of SWCNTs, AIST worked on mass-production based on the low-cost Super-Growth synthesis method, and successfully demonstrated the scalability of this method and developed a continuous synthesis process. AIST then integrated these technologies and developed a large-scale continuous CVD synthesis process.
Applications of mass-produced SWCNTs are now being developed, and SWCNTs and various composites with rubber, resin, and metal have been created. SWCNT rubber composites offer durability and workability not found in existing rubber materials, while SWCNT metal composites possess electrical, thermal, and weight advantages over existing metallic materials, thus providing properties not possible with existing materials.
AIST, by developing technologies for mass-producing SWCNTs as well as composite materials having new properties, is paving the way for the practical use of SWCNTs.