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: Researchers discover novel exciton interactions in carbon nanotubes

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Archaeologists find ancient necropolis in Egypt

February 24, 2018

Egypt's Antiquities Ministry announced on Saturday the discovery of an ancient necropolis near the Nile Valley city of Minya, south of Cairo, the latest discovery in an area known to house ancient catacombs from the Pharaonic ...

AI and 5G in focus at top mobile fair

February 24, 2018

Phone makers will seek to entice new buyers with better cameras and bigger screens at the world's biggest mobile fair starting Monday in Spain after a year of flat smartphone sales.

Walking crystals may lead to new field of crystal robotics

February 23, 2018

Researchers have demonstrated that tiny micrometer-sized crystals—just barely visible to the human eye—can "walk" inchworm-style across the slide of a microscope. Other crystals are capable of different modes of locomotion ...

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.