Buckypaper To Go Commercial Soon
Buckypaper is a material made up of nanotubes, flexible films 10-20 micrometers in thickness. It is very light in weight, just 21.5 grams per square meter. And it has unusual properties, being one of the strongest materials known, with an electrical conductivity like copper and greater thermal conductivity than diamond.
Buckypaper was predicted to have a wide variety of applications:
- As one of the most thermally conductive materials known, buckypaper lends itself to the development of heat sinks that would allow computers and other electronic equipment to disperse heat more efficiently than is currently possible. This, in turn, could lead to even greater advances in electronic miniaturization.
- Because it has an unusually high current-carrying capacity, a film made from buckypaper could be applied to the exteriors of airplanes. Lightning strikes then would flow around the plane and dissipate without causing damage.
- Films also could protect electronic circuits and devices within airplanes from electromagnetic interference, which can damage equipment and alter settings. Similarly, such films could allow military aircraft to shield their electromagnetic "signatures," which can be detected via radar.
At present, buckypaper is only made in the laboratory, but researchers at Florida State are in the process of creating a company to produce buckypaper commercially. The first anticipated uses are expected in electromagnetic interference shielding and lightning-strike protection on aircraft.
Buckypaper has been under research since at least 2000, but this is the first time that it appears that the remarkable material will become available in quantity for commercial use.
Research at Florida State has been funded in part by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control; their chief technologist Les Kramer remarks "If this thing goes into production, this very well could be a very, very game-changing or revolutionary technology to the aerospace business."
Battlestar Galactica viewers might be thinking that the Blackbird fighters are a little bit closer to reality. According to the show:
The Blackbird uses black-colored carbon composite materials that make it largely undetectable by DRADIS and unaided visual viewing. This was a practical consideration in light of all metal being reserved for Viper repairs.
(Blackbird fighter from Battlestar Galactica)
From Future planes, cars may be made of `buckypaper' and this very nice 2005 article from Physorg; see also a buckypaper origami crane. Thanks to Moira and Jeff for contributing tips on this story.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/20/2008)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )
Related News Stories -
Self-Healing Circuits From Carnegie Mellon
'It even had an inter-skin layer of gum that could seal the punctures...'- Raymond Z. Gallun, 1951.
Dune Fans! Metal-Organic Frameworks Make Science Fiction Real
'Dew collectors,' he muttered, enchanted by the simple beauty of such a scheme. - Frank Herbert, 1965.
Fungi-Infused Concrete Repairs Itself
'I noticed that curious mottled knots were forming, indicating where the room had been strained and healed faultily.'- J.G. Ballard, 1962.
3D Printed Graphene Aerogel - So Light!
'... light as cork and stronger than steel...' - Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1929.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Las Vegas Humans Ready To Strike Over Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot... had to be compensated.'
You'll Regrow That Limb, One Day
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers.'
Elon Musk Seeks To Create 1941 Heinlein Speedster
'The car surged and lifted, clearing its top by a negligible margin.'
Somnox Sleep Robot - Your Sleepytime Cuddlebot
Science fiction authors are serious about sleep, too.
Real-Life Macau or Ghost In The Shell
Art imitates life imitates art.
Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
'I had explained," said Nessus, "that our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.'
First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Just what we need! Lots of spare parts.
VirtualHome: Teaching Robots To Do Chores Around The House
'Just what did I want Flexible Frank to do? - any work a human being does around a house.'
Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) Workshop
SF writers have thought about this since the 19th century.
Nanorobots Roam Your Bloodstream, Cleaning It
Too bad they won't have lasers, though...
Galini 3D Printed Sleeping Pod Tiny Houses
'The houses are prefabricated units...'
MIT Boffins Create Psychopath AI On Purpose
There's a lesson in this for neural net AI engineers everywhere.
Skin Electronics 3D Printed
'June's body is a tracery of lambent lines, like some arcane capillary circuitry...'
Artificial Sensory Neurons For Prosthetics, Robots
Great for humans and robots!
China Uses Artificial Intelligence To Grade Student Papers
Looks like the City Fathers are starting to take over China's education system.
Electronic Tongues Will Rule The Kitchen
'Install taste buds in the end of one tentacle...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories