Non-Metallic Conductive Material for ESD/EMI Applications

Period of Performance: 01/07/2009 - 10/07/2009

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nanotechlabs, Inc.
409 W. Maple St.
Yadkinville, NC 27055
Principal Investigator

Abstract

In this Phase I SBIR, NanoTechLabs (NTL) Inc. will produce a 100 square ft. carbon nanotube prepeg that can be laminated into a composite structure. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) provide an avenue to prepare organic and corrosion resistant materials for ground plane applications. Recent improvements in the electrical properties of CNTs suggest that CNTs offer a viable substitute for nickel-based conductive fillers and strands used for establishing an integrated conductive ground plane for ESD/EMI purposes. The lightweight nature of CNTs and CNT mats or buckypapers makes them attractive for use in air vehicle applications. However, to date, most of the development efforts have been done on a small scale or at the component level due to the limitation on the current capacity of CNT production, cost, and the inability to produce large scale non-woven mats. As a result of these limitations, integrating CNT non-woven mats into polymer resin systems to form a composite prepreg for large scale trials has not yet been achieved. NTL will demonstrate a scalable paper making process that will lead to a 52 prepreg in Phase II. BENEFIT: The results of the Phase I program will demonstrate the continuous manufacture of dry CNT mats which can be prepregged and incorporated into a composite structure for EMI shielding. By relying on a proven technology such as paper manufacture and adjusting processing variables, not only does it increase the likelyhood of success but this approach also allows for the possibility of different materials being used to for additional applications. The machine that is being designed will allow for the usage of different materials (CNT, CNF, nanoplatelets) and can incorporate polymeric binders including phenolic, polyimide, and elastomers during the paper making process. This will lead to a wide variety of commercial and military applications being viable such as filtration, ultracapcitors, and battery electrodes.