Technologies
PDF


WARF: P99038US

Method and Apparatus for Carbon Nanotube Production


INVENTORS -

Amit Lal

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a method of using ultrasonic vibration of a cathode to increase the length and yield of carbon nanotubes.
OVERVIEWNanotubes are C60 fullerene structures that have a cage-like structure. They are highly desirable for nanoprobing and for creating better carbon fiber composites.

Carbon nanotubes are produced in carbon arcs between a cathode and anode. The nanotubes are formed on the cathode at the locations of the arcs. One problem with current technology is that the arcs are unstable; this disrupts the formation of nanotubes so that the largest produced are only 100 nm in length. Also, unwanted, non-nanotube carbonaceous materials are formed.
THE INVENTIONA UW-Madison researcher has developed a method for driving the cathode ultrasonically, resulting in a high tip acceleration that dislodges large carbon chunks, leaving the lighter nanotubes to form. The method also describes the use of a cooling method on the cathode to diminish the formation of unwanted carbon material. Nanotubes created using this technique are greatly increased in length (greater than one mm) and quantity.
APPLICATIONS
  • Production of carbon nanotubes
KEY BENEFITS
  • Significantly increases the length of the nanotubes produced, making them candidates for probing deep crevices like those found on integrated circuits, nanostructures and biological molecules.
  • Increases the yield of nanotubes, making it feasible to create lighter and stronger carbon-fiber composite materials that can be used in the defense, aerospace and automobile markets.
  • Eliminates the need to halt the production process to remove carbon materials from the electrodes
  • Significantly increases the economy and efficiency of carbon nanotube production
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Mark Staudt at mstaudt@warf.org or 608-960-9845.
The WARF Advantage

Since its founding in 1925 as the patenting and licensing organization for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, WARF has been working with business and industry to transform university research into products that benefit society. WARF intellectual property managers and licensing staff members are leaders in the field of university-based technology transfer. They are familiar with the intricacies of patenting, have worked with researchers in relevant disciplines, understand industries and markets, and have negotiated innovative licensing strategies to meet the individual needs of business clients.