Final Report Summary - HIENA (Hierarchical Carbon Nanomaterials)
Nanotechnology is often described at the science of the future as it may revolutionise electronic devices, drug delivery, water filtration and energy storage devices. While some of these materials have been developed recently and require much more investigation before being deployed at an industrial scale, other nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes have been studied intensively since the early 1990s, and as a result, their manufacturing techniques are relatively mature with yearly global production capacity of thousands of tons. However, while these advances in production capacity are impressive, we are still far off delivering the full potential of nanoparticles. Most engineering applications require thousands of nanotubes to be organised in a controlled organised fashion – and therein lies the difficulty. While an individual nanoparticle displays extraordinary properties, put it one next to lots of others without carefully engineering the interactions between the particles and they lose their properties. This is the core challenge this ERC project has sought to alleviate. We have developed techniques to create new CNT structures with well controlled microscale geometry and nanoscale surface coating over large areas. We have demonstrated that this technology allows to fabricate next generation Li-Ion batteries as well as other applications including water filtration devices.