Major Award for Carbon Natotube Partners

June 10, 2005

CSIRO and the NanoTech Institute of the University of Texas at Dallas have won the 2005 Avantex Innovation Prize for their breakthrough discovery of how pure carbon nanotubes can be spun into strong, flexible, electrically conductive yarns.
Interest in the potential for carbon nanotubes to create a range of futuristic materials was sparked when details of their structure were revealed in the early 1990s.
Measuring about a millionth of a millimetre in diameter, carbon nanotube fibres are immensely strong. However, they also possess two unique characteristics - excellent electrical and heat conductivity.

Following their discovery, a vigorous international research effort began to develop carbon nanotube production techniques targeted at patentable applications that exploit their extraordinary properties.

Based on their research into published information about the fibres, a team of CSIRO Textile and Fibre Technology researchers, led by Ken Atkinson, began work in 2002 to show that carbon nanotubes could act like conventional fibres by responding to 'twist' and being capable of self-locking into a yarn.

Mr Atkinson presented the team's finding to researchers at the NanoTech Institute, in November 2003 and later demonstrated that the nanotube forests grown at UTD could be hand twisted into a short length of yarn only a fraction of the width of a human hair. Yet this yarn was capable of supporting the weight of a pen.

NanoTech Institute Director, Dr Ray Baughman, says further refinement of the spinning process could lead to the production of nanotube yarns suitable for manufacturing high-value commercial products.

“These might eventually range from artificial muscles, electronic textiles, antiballistic clothing, satellite tethers, filaments for high intensity x-ray and light sources, and yarns for energy storage and generation that are weavable into textiles,” Dr Braughman says.

The 2005 Avantex Innovation Prize ('New Materials' category) will be presented to the team today - at the AVANTEX Technical Textile Congress in Frankfurt, Germany - for their collaborative effort in: “The application of the science and technology of spinning to produce pure multi-walled carbon nanotube yarns with useful new properties”.

Explore further: Comet Hitchhiker would take tour of small bodies

Related Stories

Comet Hitchhiker would take tour of small bodies

September 2, 2015

Catching a ride from one solar system body to another isn't easy. You have to figure out how to land your spacecraft safely and then get it on its way to the next destination. The landing part is especially tricky for asteroids ...

Efficient heating for electric cars

September 2, 2015

If you don't want to freeze in your electric car, you have to make a few concessions, because heating devours a substantial portion of power supply. Fraunhofer researchers will exhibit the demo model of a highly energy-efficient ...

Focused laser power boosts ion acceleration

August 7, 2015

An international team of physicists has used carbon nanotubes to enhance the efficiency of laser-driven particle acceleration. This significant advance brings compact sources of ionizing radiation for medical purposes closer ...

Short wavelength plasmons observed in nanotubes

July 28, 2015

The term "plasmons" might sound like something from the soon-to-be-released new Star Wars movie, but the effects of plasmons have been known about for centuries. Plasmons are collective oscillations of conduction electrons ...

Recommended for you

Long-sought chiral anomaly detected in crystalline material

September 3, 2015

A study by Princeton researchers presents evidence for a long-sought phenomenon—first theorized in the 1960s and predicted to be found in crystals in 1983—called the "chiral anomaly" in a metallic compound of sodium and ...

Making nanowires from protein and DNA

September 3, 2015

The ability to custom design biological materials such as protein and DNA opens up technological possibilities that were unimaginable just a few decades ago. For example, synthetic structures made of DNA could one day be ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.