APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Air and land transportation vehicles
- Safety equipment
- Sports equipment
- Building materials
- Components are commercially available
- Yields a true hybrid material, not a mixture of components
- Adds thermal and electronic tunability properties to Kevlar®-containing systems
Alex Zettl, Jean Fréchet and Toby Sainsbury of Berkeley Lab have developed a next-generation composite material by structurally and chemically integrating poly-p-phenyleneterephthalamide (PPTA), more commonly known as Kevlar®, with carbon, boron nitride or BCN alloy nanotubes. Fully integrating PPTA with nanotubes yields the ability to tune the electrical and thermal properties of the resulting composite while maintaining chemical functionality identical to PPTA. The invention includes a step-by-step process, and alternate routes, to sequentially functionalize nanotubes with PPTA monomer units and yield a novel hybrid material.
Composite materials are desirable for their high strength and durability, and the interface between components of composite materials is critical for their performance. Although carbon and boron nitride nanotubes offer exceptional mechanical, thermal and electrical properties, approaches to creating nanotube-based composites have yielded poorly dispersed mixtures with uncontrolled chemical reactions between nanotube ends and walls. The Berkeley Lab invention surpasses earlier attempts by using chemical and structural bonding, instead of a simple mixture, to achieve a superior composite material.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle. Nanotubes successfully functionalized with Kevlar® units.
STATUS: Issued U. S. Patent #8,674,134. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Sainsbury, T., Erickson, K., Okawa, D., Zontes, C.S., Fréchet, J. M., Zettl, A. Kevlar Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes for Next Generation Composites, Chemistry of Materials, 22, 2164-2171 (2010).
REFERENCE NUMBER: IB-2873