Rapid Fabrication of Carbon Nanotubes

The Invention Carbon nanotubes are a new molecular form in which carbon atoms form a hollow tube with diameters in the nanometer range. The scientific innovation from the University of Tel Aviv provides a simple, inexpensive and rapid method of fabrication of multi-wall carbon nanotubes at selected locations. Production takes place in the open air and can be performed on various substrates. The novel method overcomes difficulties in existing production processes. No pre-treatment or post-treatment is required. As a result of the process, the nanotubes form immediately at any selected position, making this an efficient and cost-effective procedure.

The Technological Innovation Multi-wall nanotubes are produced using a single microsecond pulsed arc discharge or a few pulsed discharges in the open air on substrates that are at room temperature. No pre-treatment of any kind is required. The multi-wall nanotubes are formed in the immediate vicinity of a small counter electrode, while the remainder of the substrate is unaffected. Even long multi-wall nanotubes can be formed during a single microsecond pulse.
Commercial Applications Carbon nanotubes are of interest for many applications, including as field emitters and probe tips.

§ Field emitters are used in a new generation of flat panel displays (e.g. for portable computers, cellular telephones, etc.), which have the potential to be as bright, fast and angle insensitive as conventional box-like CRT displays, and thus out perform the flat LCD displays used today. Field emitters may also be incorporated in illuminated, battery-operated emergency directional signs, where low energy consumption is critical. In this application, the Tel Aviv process may be used to selectively deposit emitters only where light emission is needed, thus lowering energy consumption.

§ Probe tips which are mechanically strong while a having minute radius of curvature at their extremity are needed in advanced scanning microscopes such as the AFM and the STM. The Tel Aviv process has the potential to be developed as a means instantly fabricating a nanotube tip on a conventional metallic probe, thus increasing its spatial resolution.
References N. Parkansky, R. L. Boxman, B. Alterkop, I. Zontag, Y. Lereah, Z. Barkay “Single-Pulse Arc Production of Carbon Nanotubes in Ambient Air” This has not yet been accepted for publication. Patent Pending Tech Transfer Officer Mr. Larry Loev Office: +972-3-6406544 Fax: +972-3-6406675 Mail: [email protected]

Inventor(s): Raymond Boxman, Naum Parkansky

Type of Offer: Licensing

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