CFDRC has filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office entitled "Synthesis of Carbon Nanotubes by Selectively Heating Catalyst." The invention is a catalytic chemical vapor deposition method and apparatus for synthesizing carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on a substrate by selectively heating a catalyst for CNT synthesis on or near the surface of the substrate.
Selective heating of the catalyst is achieved using an exothermic oxidation reaction on the surface of the catalyst, inductive heating from a radio frequency source, or both. Selective heating of the catalyst prevents heating of the substrate and enables the synthesis of CNTs on temperature sensitive substrates. CNTs have become valuable components in technologies such as electron field emission sources, nanodiodes, nanotransistors, biological probes, scanning probe microscopy tips, composite polymers, and hydrogen and energy storage.
Dr. Alexey Vasenkov invented the process while conducting research for the National Science Foundation.