Phone: (813) 257-3546
Research in our lab is focused on nanotechnology and nanomaterials, especially production of and applications for carbon nanotubes (CNTs). CNTs are tubes of carbon atoms with nano-scale diameters (0.5–10 nanometers). This new nano-material is predicted to have many exciting mechanical and electronic properties including superior tensile strength and extremely high electrical conductivity. To fully realize the potential of CNT-based materials, it will be necessary to grow CNT to lengths measured in meters (typical current achievable lengths are 100–1000 microns). Our research involves investigations into methods by which CNT can be grown to much longer lengths than are currently achievable, to take advantage of these unique materials' properties.
In our lab, CNT are grown by catalytic chemical vapor deposition (CVD): carbon-containing gases such as methane are passed over nanometer-sized particles of catalytic metals, and under appropriate conditions these gases will decompose upon the catalytic particles to release their carbon atoms, which will form into CNTs. Our research involves investigation of methods to stabilize and control the structure of the catalytic particles used, so that they are stable over long periods of time during the CVD process. This will allow continued growth of CNT to reach these ultra-long lengths.
Recent Publications (Undergraduate student authors’ names in bold)
- “Rhenium and Molybdenum as Diffusion Inhibitors in Catalytic Metal Particles for growth of Ultra-Long Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs)”; Bronikowski, Michael J. and King, Melissa (Undergraduate student author); MRS Advances 5 (31-32), 1697(2020). http://doi.org/10.1557/adv.2020.162
- "Refractory-Metal Diffusion Inhibitors Slow Erosion of Catalytic Metal Particles in the growth of Carbon Nanotubes”; Bronikowski, Michael J. and King, Melissa (Undergraduate student author); MRS Advances 4 (3-4), 197-204 (2019). http://doi.org/10.1557/adv.2018.666