WiSys: T08014US

Methods and Novel Spectophotometer for Achieving Uniform Dispersion of Carbon Nanotubes, Graphene and Nanocellulose


James Hamilton, Philip Streich

The WiSys Technology Foundation is seeking commercial partners interested in commercializing the instrument and applying the methods to the manufacture of graphene and carbon nanotube bulk materials, composites and other products.
OVERVIEWMany industries including electronics, automotive, aerospace, telecommunications and healthcare have been exploring the use of superior super-nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes and graphene. Although forecasts for these material markets currently exceed 250 million for carbon nanotubes alone, actual use of the materials has proven difficult due to undesirable clumping properties. Current methods to address these issues result in an expensive manufacturing process with potential for impurities in the end product and possible disruption of the superior qualities. Achieving a cost-effective uniform dispersion without impurities is ideal and will allow manufacturers to take advantage of the superior electrical, mechanical, and structural properties of carbon nanotubes, graphene and nanocellulose, among others.
THE INVENTIONResearchers at UW-Platteville have developed enabling technologies that address the purification and dispersion problems inherent when processing graphene, carbon nanotubes and other nanomaterials. A sensitive photon counting static light scattering (SLS) spectrophotometer was built to collect data for calculating various thermodynamic parameters of dilute samples. The data is used to identify the existence of a solvent resonance whose local extreme identifies the intrinsic property of an ideal solvent (for a given solute). The intrinsic property identified by the solvent resonance can be employed to inform a search for a solvent having the best match to this intrinsic property.
  • Reinforcement of composites
  • Conductive plastics
  • Energy storage
  • Electronic flat screens
  • Sensors
  • Ink-jet Printing
  • Eliminates clumping of carbon nanotubes and graphene sheets
  • Superior to other prior solvation methods of carbon nanotubes because no chemical modification is required
  • Provides facile method for finding optimal solvents to achieve uniform dispersion of any nanomaterial
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Jennifer Souter at or (608) 316-4131.
The WiSys Advantage

WiSys Technology Foundation serves the University of Wisconsin System comprehensive campuses by patenting and licensing discoveries to leading companies in Wisconsin, the United States and worldwide. Established in 2000 by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and the UW System, WiSys is building the next generation of patent and licensing opportunities by fostering collaborations among campuses, private research organizations and industry, facilitating high-tech research with grant programs, and promoting student training for employment in a knowledge-based economy. WiSys's income is distributed to the UW campuses, the inventors and their departments to grow future discoveries and educational opportunities.