Huge Potential for Tiny Materials

07.18.2005 | Engineering, Campus and CommunityIt's invisible to the naked eye and can carry an electrical charge, but is 10 times stronger than steel.

Sumio Iijima, who discovered carbon nanotubes, will discuss their industrial applications at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 19, in the Science Center auditorium on the University of Dayton campus.

Iijima attracted attention from the scientific community for creating the tiniest wire ever by finding a way to insert metal into a carbon nanotube, which is about half the width of DNA.

The presentation is free and open to the public.

According to the National Technology Initiative Web site, nanoscale materials are used in electronic, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and materials applications. Products that benefit from nanoscale properties include car bumpers; paints and coatings to protect against corrosion, scratches and radiation; protective and glare-reducing coatings for eyeglasses and cars; and lightweight, stronger tennis racquets.

The University of Dayton has received millions of dollars for nanotechnology research through Ohio's Third Frontier initiative.

"Ohio ranks No. 1 in the country in the manufacture of polymer-based products," said Brian Rice, a UD Research Institute polymer and composites researcher, when UD received a share of a $22.5 million Ohio Third Frontier award for a Wright Center of Innovation in polymer nanotechnology research.

The award assists UD's effort to help bring an emerging technology to market and boost Ohio's economy.

UDRI is second in the nation in materials research, according to National Science Foundation.

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson at (937) 229-3391.