Major Award for Carbon Natotube Partners

Jun 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: Google eyes nanoparticle platform as part of health rethink

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers take first pictures of baby nanotubes

Dec 02, 2014

Single-walled carbon nanotubes are loaded with desirable properties. In particular, the ability to conduct electricity at high rates of speed makes them attractive for use as nanoscale transistors. But this ...

Smart anti-icing system for rotor blades

Dec 01, 2014

In very cold climate zones, the wind can blow with tremendous force. But wind turbines have rarely been built in these regions up to now. The risk of ice formation on the rotor blades is just too high. But ...

Recommended for you

DNA nanoswitches reveal how life's molecules connect

Jan 30, 2015

A complex interplay of molecular components governs almost all aspects of biological sciences - healthy organism development, disease progression, and drug efficacy are all dependent on the way life's molecules ...

Holes in valence bands of nanodiamonds discovered

Jan 28, 2015

Nanodiamonds are tiny crystals only a few nanometers in size. While they possess the crystalline structure of diamonds, their properties diverge considerably from those of their big brothers, because their ...

Demystifying nanocrystal solar cells

Jan 28, 2015

ETH researchers have developed a comprehensive model to explain how electrons flow inside new types of solar cells made of tiny crystals. The model allows for a better understanding of such cells and may ...

User comments : 0

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.