New production process for single walled carbon nanotubes

Kenji Hata and Tatsuki Hiraoka of the Nano-Carbon Materials Team, the Research Center for Advanced Carbon Materials of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and Zeon Corporation have jointly developed a technology to synthesize a large amount of single-walled carbon nanotubes directly on large area metal substrates for the first time.

Certain aspects of the process are 100 times improved over previous processes.

The research team designed and built a trial synthesis furnace that can utilize the newly developed technology jointly with Zeon Corp., and successfully synthesized single-walled carbon nanotubes with a uniform structure spanning an A4 size foil substrate. This large area synthesis is a 100-fold jump from conventional levels, and production was scaled in units of grams.

Single-walled carbon nanotubes synthesized by this newly-developed technology grow upward vertically from the metal foil, and it takes only 10 minutes to form a structure of 1 mm height. The single-walled carbon nanotubes exhibit excellent properties, including the world’s highest level of purity and greatest specific surface and length, similar to those synthesized on silicon substrates, and they are considered to be promising for various applications such as super-capacitors and actuators. The newly developed technology reduces the substrate cost to one-hundredth of the existing cost

A previous article on carbon nanotube production