NSTI Nanotech 2009

Carbon Nanotubes and Graphene

Sunday May 3, 2009, 8:00 am - 6:00 pm, Houston, Texas

Technology Focus

The small scale and the one dimensional structure of carbon nanotubes are directly related to their unique properties which find more and more applications as the understanding and progress in synthesis advances. Carbon nanotubes represent an exemplary system where the bottoms-up approach to synthesis results in perfect structures with sizes less than 10nm, a range which remains inaccessible for advanced projection lithography techniques.

Applications of carbon nanotubes range from reinforcement of composites or conductive plastics to electrodes for batteries or flat screens, field effect transistors, chemical or force sensors and electromechanical memory. These applications have been demonstrated in bulk, on surfaces and on individual tubes.

This course is focused on the fundamental properties of carbon nanotubes and provides the basic knowledge needed to follow the important developments in this field.

Course Objectives

We will show how the helical structure of the tube influences the electronic properties of the tube in a fundamental way. In the first part we will explain the structural peculiarities, give an overview of the main synthesis techniques and then show how, starting from the known electronic properties of graphite, how those of the nanotubes can be described.

The second part of the course covers electronic transport, electron emission properties, optical properties, mechanical properties and composites. We will show to what extend analytical techniques can provide information about individual tubes and we will see the importance of the immediate environment of the nanotube surface.

In summary the goal of the course is:

  • To give an introduction to the elementary properties of carbon nanotubes.
  • To give the context and current status of the scientific research on carbon nanotubes.
  • Synthesis Methods
  • Characterization Methods
  • CNT Based Materials
  • Carbon Nano Industrial Applications

Course Outline


  • Introduction: history
  • Context, excitement and potential of CNT applications


  • Synthesis
  • CVD
  • HiPCO
  • Supported Catalysts
  • Large-Scale
  • Vertically Oriented CNT


  • CNT structure: MWNT, SWNT, DWNT
  • CNT synthesis: basic growth processes and bulk, localized growth, functionalisation
  • Electronic structure
  • One dimensional electronic transport
  • Electronic emission
  • Optical properties and light emission
  • Mechanical properties, sensors
  • Composites
  • Synthesis Methods
  • Characterization Methods
  • Carbon Nano Structure based Materials
  • Conclusions and outlook


  • Overview and recent progress
  • Examples of potential applications and real applications
  • CNT/polymer composites
  • Conductive Nanotube Films
  • Fuel Cell Electrodes
  • Field Emission for Flat Panel Displays

Course Instructors

Wolfgang S. Bacsa Wolfgang S. Bacsa, Ph.D., Professor, CEMES (‘Centre d'Elaboration de Matériaux et d'Etudes Structurales’) CNRS, Toulouse. Dr. Wolfgang Bacsa is an expert in the field of nano-photonics and nano-materials. He has a Ph.D. from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich in Physics and has extensive experience in condensed matter physics, photonics, microscopy and the synthesis of nano-materials. Dr. Bacsa worked at ETH Zürich, Penn State University and EPFL Lausanne. He is currently a professor at CEMES/CNRS and the University of Toulouse in southern France. His research interests are in advanced optical microscopy, carbon nanotubes and protein aggregation. He has more than 20 years of research experience and published more than 120 scientific papers. He received two Innovation prizes in 1998 and has been an invited visiting scientist at SRI Menlo Park CA, the University of Osaka, Japan and he has been a visiting research professor at the photonics centre/ Boston University, Boston MA.

Meyya MeyyappanMeyya Meyyappan is Chief Scientist for Exploration at Center for Nanotechnology, NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA.  Until June 2006, he served as the Director of the Center for Nanotechnology as well as Senior Scientist. He is a founding member of the Interagency Working Group on Nanotechnology(IWGN) established by the Office of Science and Technology Policy(OSTP).  The IWGN is responsible for putting together the National Nanotechnology Initiative.

Dr. Meyyappan is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers(IEEE). He is Fellow of the Electrochemical Society(ECS). He is a Fellow of the California Council of Science and Technology.  In addition, he is a member of American Society of Mechanical Engineers(ASME), Materials Research Society, American Vacuum Society and American Institute of Chemical Engineers.  He is the IEEE Distinguished Lecturer on Nanotechnology and ASME's Distinguished Lecturer on Nanotechnology.  He is currently the President of the IEEE's Nanotechnology Council(2006-2007).

For his work and leadership in nanotechnology, he was awarded NASA's Outstanding Leadership Medal and Arthur Flemming Award by the Arthur Flemming Foundation and George Washington University.  For his contributions to nanotechnology education and training, he received the 2003-2004 Engineer of the Year award by the San Francisco section of the AIAA(American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics). In 2004, he was honored with the President's Meritorious Award for his contributions to nanotechnology.  Dr. Meyyappan has authored or co-authored over 150 articles in peer reviewed publications and made over 200 Invited/Keynote/Plenary Talks in nanotechnology subjects across the world.

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