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Graphene, Nanotubes and Nanowires

Monday June 13, 2011, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Boston, Massachusetts

Technology Focus

The  rapid progress in growing graphene as well as advances in the growth and separation of carbon nanotubes open a wide range of applications. The unique properties of the three folded flat carbon world and the discovery of how to mass produce graphene and nanotubes, gives much hope to replace many often toxic or rare elements in today’s technology products with light weight, energy saving carbon nanostructures.  In addition, there is tremendous progress in growing a variety of inorganic materials in a one-dimensional nanowire form for applications from electronics to sensors.  This course focuses on all the essential aspects in these rapidly growing fields.


This course will first introduce graphene and carbon nanotubes and related carbon nanostructures, their basic properties and characteristics. The course will give a historic overview and show how carbon nanotubes gained interest and how graphene has suddenly become a hot research field. The fundamental properties will be presented and explained why 3-folded carbon nanostructures have such unusual properties. The most relevant synthesis and processing techniques will be presented. A number of potential applications will be discussed and a review will be given to where nanotubes are already used or will be used in the near future. Safety and health issues will also be discussed.

The course will then cover growth, characterization and applications of various nanowires including Si, Ge, III-V, II-VI, oxides, nitrides and others. Fundamentally, the same materials in the thin film form have been responsible for the revolutions we have witnessed in the last 20 years in the areas of microelectronics, photonics, MEMS etc. Now the expectation is that in the 1-d nanowire form, applications can be extended due to interesting quantum confinement and flawless surface properties.

Course Contents

1. Overview and History (0.5h)
Research activity past and present, discovery of C60 and carbon nanotubes. Graphene and CNT time line, small scale / big surface, between two worlds, property advantage, Nobel Prize 2010, size range, reality, market size, CNT producing companies

2. Fundamentals (1.0h)
Structure, CNT periodic table, electronic properties, Kataura plot, synthesis of CNTs, key contribution of Geim’s and Novoselov’s work on Graphene, synthesis of graphene, electrons with no effective mass, ballistic conductivity, light emission, light detection, thermal conductivity

3. Synthesis and processing (1.0h)
New growth techniques, CNT forest, double wall CNTs, selective growth, aligning tubes, oriented growth, yarns, fibres, micro contact printing, dispersions, printed electronics

4. Applications and Products(1.0h)
Display technology, transparent electrodes, X ray electrode, electronics, memory, light emission and detection, conductive inks, wires and cables, ultra-capacitors, conductive and reinforced composites, fibers, coatings, solar cells, artificial retinas, aerospace materials, batteries, neural implants, biosensors, drug transporter, fuel cells, implants, artificial muscles, adhesive, loud speaker, lasers, nano radio.

5. Inorganic Nanowires
Overview, why 1-d form, growth techniques, vapor-liquid-solid technique, examples of semiconducting, phase-change, oxide, nitride, metallic and other nanowires, applications in electronics, optoelectronics, biosensors, chemical sensors, energy generation and storage devices, field emission and thermoelectric devices

Course Instructors

Meyya MeyyappanMeyya Meyyappan is Chief Scientist for Exploration Technology at the Center for Nanotechnology, NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA. Until June 2006, he served as the Director of the Center for
Nanotechnology. He is a founding member of the Interagency Working Group on Nanotechnology(IWGN) established by the Office of Science and Technology Policy(OSTP). The IWGN is responsible for putting together the National Nanotechnology Initiative.

Dr. Meyyappan has authored or co-authored over 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals and made over 200 Invited/Keynote/Plenary Talks in nanotechnology subjects across the world. His research interests include carbon nanotubes and various inorganic nanowires, their growth and characterization, and application development in chemical and biosensors, instrumentation, electronics and optoelectronics.

Dr. Meyyappan is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Electrochemical Society (ECS), AVS, the Materials Research Society (MRS), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers(AIChE), the Institute of Physics, and the California Council of Science and Technology. In addition, he is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He is currently the IEEE Nanotechnology Council
(NTC) Distinguished Lecturer on Nanotechnology, IEEE Electron Devices Society (EDS) Distinguished Lecturer, and was ASME's Distinguished Lecturer on Nanotechnology(2004-2006). He served as the President of the IEEE's Nanotechnology Council in 2006-2007. He currently serves as the Vice President of IEEE-EDS for Educational Activities.

For his contributions and leadership in nanotechnology, he has received numerous awards including: a Presidential Meritorious Award; NASA's Outstanding Leadership Medal; Arthur Flemming Award given by the Arthur Flemming Foundation and the George Washington University; IEEE Judith Resnick Award; IEEE-USA Harry Diamond Award; AIChE Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum Award. For his sustained contributions to nanotechnology, he was inducted into the Silicon Valley Engineering Council Hall of Fame in February 2009. For his educational contributions, he has received: Outstanding Recognition Award from the NASA Office of Education; the Engineer of the Year Award(2004) by the San Francisco Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA); IEEE-EDS Education Award; IEEE-EAB(Educational Activities Board) Meritorious Achievement Award in Continuing Education.

Wolfgang Bacsa Wolfgang S. Bacsa, Ph.D., Professor, CEMES (‘Centre d'Elaboration de Matériaux et d'Etudes Structurales’) CNRS, Toulouse. Dr. Wolfgang Bacsa is an expert in the field of nano-photonics and nano-materials. He has a Ph.D. from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich in Physics and has extensive experience in condensed matter physics, photonics, microscopy and the synthesis of nano-materials. Dr. Bacsa worked at ETH Zürich, Penn State University and EPFL Lausanne. He is currently a professor at CEMES/CNRS and the University of Toulouse in southern France. His research interests are in advanced optical microscopy, carbon nanotubes and protein aggregation. He has more than 20 years of research experience and published more than 120 scientific papers. He received two Innovation prizes in 1998 and has been an invited visiting scientist at SRI Menlo Park CA, the University of Osaka, Japan and he has been a visiting research professor at the photonics centre/ Boston University, Boston MA.

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