Figure. SEM images of novel carbon nanotube-based aerogels.
BNC has been granted a patent in three key markets for a technique to synthesise carbon nanotube-based aerogels with outstanding electrical, physical and mechanical properties.
The research work that led to the patent publication was developed by Dr Ainara Garcia at BNC, in partnership with Professor Milo Shaffer at Imperial College London. The work is based on the synthesis of new materials based on carbon nanotubes aerogels. The highly innovative chemistry involved in the process allows a robust linkage between nanotubes into the aerogel, providing materials with outstanding mechanical and electrical properties. Preliminary results show that the aerogels synthesised following this methodology have high electrical conductivity (9.4 S/m), enhanced surface area (766 m2/g) and significant accessible porosity.
There are number of applications envisaged for these aerogels such as: catalyst supports, non-reflective panels, transparent conductive carbon nanotubes films, materials for space applications, electrochemical devices, absorbents for solvents, oil or petrol, filters for liquids, gas absorbents and a water purification medium. In particular, the outstanding electrical properties and the low volumetric density of these aerogels lead to their potential use as supercapacitors.
The application has been granted in China, Europe and USA with the following patent publication numbers: CN103459011B, EP2665552A2, US9308479, US20140012034.