Strong Ultralight Multi-walled Carbon Nanotube Aerogel

Technology #32097

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Researchers
Lei Zhai, Ph.D.
External Link (nanoscience.ucf.edu)
Jianhua Zou, Ph.D.
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Raju Nagaiah
Licensing Associate 407.882.0593
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Carbon Nanotube or Graphene-Based Aerogels

US Patent 8,975,326

Invention

Fabrication method for mechanically strong, ultralight, multi-walled carbon nanotube (CNT) aerogel.

Technical Details

UCF researchers developed a mechanically strong aerogel structure which offers numerous applications such as in chemical sensors, catalyst supports and novel electrodes. Among various carbon nanotube (CNT) materials, CNT aerogels represent a new material that integrates the merits of CNTs with their intriguing properties and unique structure. Aerogels are an attractive choice for various applications, owing to their highly porous structure, low bulk density and large specific surface area. However, the fabrication of CNT aerogels is very challenging. Prior art CNT aerogels incorporated poly vinyl alcohol (PVA) as reinforcement for the low mechanical strength of the CNT, but this addition decreases the electrical conductivity and increases the density of the aerogel.

The present invention introduces a unique, ultralight, mechanically strong CNT aerogel that can be reversely compressed down to less than 20% of its original volume. This unique aerogel structure combined with its high surface area, excellent mechanical properties and high electrical conductivity, make this novel CNT aerogel a promising candidate as the electrode for super capacitor and catalyst support in low temperature fuel cells.

Benefits

  • Significant improvement in density, porosity, mechanical strength and conductivity
  • No need for additional polymer, PVA

Application

  • This novel aerogel can be applied to chemical sensors, catalyst supports and novel electrodes, such as electrodes for super capacitors.

Related Tech ID#:  33131