Some of the materials and processes with space applications include nanoparticles (ultrafine powders); carbon nanotubes or buckytubes
(strips of graphite rolled up into a cylinder, 40 to 60 times stronger than industrial steel); nanolithography (a process used to make electronic microchips); nanomanipulation (the ability to manipulate on the nanoscale which has been done in two dimensions for over a decade and scientists are now working toward third dimension); nanoelectronics (the most advanced capabilities that can be synthesized by self-assembly); nanomemories (the process of reading and writing data at molecular densities); nanobatteries; and the process of self-assembly (atomically precise pieces sticking together using chemistry or molecular biology).
This advance follows in rapid succession Iijima's discovery of buckytubes
in 1991 (SN: 11/16/91, p.
Karohl for Unidym says prices of "Buckytubes
" SWCNTs have come down to the "affordable" range.
Commonly used nanoparticles include carbon nanotubes (also called Buckytubes
), carbon black, clays, and minerals.
Professor Richard Smalley of Rice University formed Carbon Nanotechnologies, Inc., in Houston in early 2000 to provide a commercial source for carbon nanotubes (buckytubes
It is anticipated that bondable, flexible and lightweight films/tapes made of thermoplastic materials filled and modified by ceramic grains, high conductive fillers such as metal powder, carbon black, graphite, nanoparticulates, carbon fibers, nanofibers, nanotubes, "Buckytubes
," and whiskers have an excellent chance to create interface products capable of beating the previous generation of TIM based on grea se and other "less user-friendly" materials.
Today, thanks in part to $15 million in venture capital, the company is on the verge of mass-producing and mass-marketing carbon nanotubes (also known as buckytubes