A technique developed by Karen Wooley has proved vital in the creation of novel carbon nanoparticles with colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University.
Wooley technique ’linchpin’ to success
Using a technique pioneered by Washington University in St. Louis chemist Karen Wooley, Ph.D., scientists have developed a novel way to make discrete carbon nanoparticles for electrical components used in industry and research.
The method uses polyacrylonitrile (PAN) as a nanoparticle precursor and is relatively low cost, simple and potentially scalable to commercial production levels. It provides significant advantages over existing technologies to make well-defined nanostructured carbons. Using the method, PAN copolymers serving as carbon precursors can be deposited as thin films on surfaces (for example, silicon wafers), where they can be patterned and further processed using techniques currently employed to fabricate microelectronic devices. Such a seamless manufacturing process is important to generate integrated devices and would be difficult to achieve with other methods currently used to synthesize nanostructured carbons, said Tomasz Kowalewski, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry at the Mellon College of Science and principal investigator on this research.
Tony Fitzpatrick | WUSTL
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