Rosseter Holdings in Cyprus claims to have developed a low-energy production technique for mass-producing carbon nanotubes, and says it is on the verge of signing supply contracts with a number of electronics manufacturers.
Although several companies around the world have successfully made nanotubes, the efficient production of large amounts has todate proved a challenge.
Maria Xenophontos-Ioannou, managing director, said the company can produce 60kg of carbon nanotubes per week using the new process.
‘That is industrial scale. We have finally put into production what we call our Nanotube Generator. We are already in talks to supply US and Japanese companies that make mobile phones, flat panel displays, computers and fuel cells. A European consortium developing artificial organs is also in discussions with us.’
Other potential applications for nanotubes include artificial muscles, supercapacitors, hydrogen storage, data storage, reinforced armour, electromagnetic shielding and nano-electronics.
Until now, nanotubes have been produced by chemical vapour deposition using a hydrocarbon gas under high pressures, which is relatively expensive, said Xenophontos-Ioannou.
Instead, her company uses a liquid hydrocarbon, a process which she claims is more environmentally friendly and easier to use, and can achieve a higher level of output.The Nanotube Generator is a canister with six rod-like electrodes inside. The canister is filled with the hydrocarbon liquid and a current is passed through it. The nanotubes fix to the rods, enabling easy collection.
The production method was developed by Russian scientist Dr Vladislav Ryzhkov, who is now the company’s R&D director. Previously he worked as a senior researcher at Russia’s Nuclear Physics Institute of Tomsk.