Over the past decade MML has developed a unique process for synthesizing carbon nanotubes via the floating catalyst route, and at the same time winding the entangled aerogel into a fibre. The process will work with a variety of different carbon feedstocks and generates a fibre with axial properties in the Kevlar range, but great robustness in bending.
It is thus possible to convert natural gas continuously into a high tech fibre in a single reactor. Current focus of the work is the improvement of mechanical, electrical and thermal properties for a wide range of applications, some of them multifunctional. Part of this activity is through enhanced control of the spinning process itself, other approaches rely on post spinning processes such as chemical functionalization of the fibre and heat and radiation treatments. The fibre’s unique mechanical robustness stems from the fact that it is a nanoscale yarn, which also means that when incorporated in composites, the matrix penetrates the fibre providing unique level of bonding with the matrix.
People specializing in this area
I work on modelling the mechanical properties (strength and stiffness) of carbon nanotube fibres produced by the direct spinning process.
My group is interested in investigating the synthesis process and post-synthesis techniques to optimise the carbon nanotube fibre properties.
I investigate the optimisation of the direct spinning process of pure CNT fibres as well as post-synthesis techniques, both with the aim to tailor the CNT fibre properties to specific application.
I investigate different functionalization, dispersion, and “decoration” processes to better incorporate carbon nanotubes into composite materials.