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Formation of Carbon Nanotubes in a Microgravity EnvironmentEven though nanotube science has become one of the worlds most rapidly advancing areas of research, very little is known about the processes involved in nanotube synthesis. To study the formation of carbon nanotubes in an environment unhindered by the buoyancy induced flows generated by the high temperatures necessary to vaporize carbon and grow nanotubes, we have designed a miniature carbon arc apparatus that can produce carbon nanotubes under microgravity conditions. During the first phase of this project, we designed, built, and successfully tested the mini carbon arc in both 1g and 2.2 sec drop tower microgravity conditions. We have demonstrated that microgravity can eliminate the strong convective flows from the carbon arc and we have successfully produced single-walled carbon nanotubes in microgravity. We believe that microgravity processing will allow us to better understand the nanotube formation process and eventually allow us to grow nanotubes that are superior to ground-based production.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Alford, J. M.
(TDA Research, Inc. Wheat Ridge, CO United States)
Mason, G. R.
(TDA Research, Inc. Wheat Ridge, CO United States)
Feikema, D. A.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 2001
Publication Information
Publication: Sixth International Microgravity Combustion Workshop
Subject Category
Inorganic, Organic And Physical Chemistry
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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