CNT Synthesis Team

The CNT Synthesis Team is heavily engaged in the research and development of carbon nanotube synthesis technology that is expected to have wide-ranging applications, from micro-energy devices to metal composites. The research team is especially focused on the development of mass synthesis technology for low-cost single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) based on the super-growth method reported in Science (2004). The team is also engaged in the research and development of technology to control the shape of a CNT as well as next-generation synthesis technologies. As can be seen, the CNT Synthesis Team supports the promotion of diverse CNT applications from the development of synthesis technology.

Development of SWCNT mass synthesis technology

The research team is engaged in the research and development of core technologies enabling industrial-scale mass synthesis of SWCNTs to promote the development of SWCNT applications. Zeon Corporation’s announcement on November 11, 2015 regarding the completion of their industrial SWCNT synthesis plant based on the Super-growth method, marked a great milestone and tangible application of our technology. The research team will continue to investigate various aspects of synthesis to further develop low-cost mass synthesis technologies for Super-growth SWCNTs competitive with that of conventional carbon materials, such as activated carbon and carbon fibers.

Super-growth SWCNT forests: A 10×10 mm² forest, synthesized at the beginning of its development (left);
and a 50×50 cm² forest, synthesized at the pilot plant (right).

Fundamental research on SWCNT synthesis technology

The research team is also engaged in research on CNT synthesis technology, from a wide range of perspectives, to develop technology enabling general control over the formation of a CNT, and highly efficient CNT synthesis technology using newly developed methods, with the ultimate goal of developing synthesis technologies that maximize the superior characteristics of a CNT. To achieve this goal, the team is continuously pursuing research on its state-of-the-art synthesis equipment.

Formation control of CNTs (left); and picture of third generation, fully-automated CNT synthesis apparatus (right)