An international research team led by scientists at Beihang University in China and The University of Texas at Dallas has developed high-strength, super-tough sheets of carbon that can be inexpensively fabricated at low temperatures.
The team made the sheets by chemically stitching together platelets of graphitic carbon, which is similar to the graphite found in the soft lead of an ordinary pencil. The fabrication process resulted in a material whose mechanical properties exceed those of carbon fiber composites currently used in commercial products.
UT Dallas scientist Dr. Ray Baughman has been ranked one of the decade’s top 100 material scientists in a list compiled by Thomson Reuters. Baughman, who ranked 30th according to the study, is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas; a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry; and an academician of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. In August 2001, after a career in private industry, he became the Robert A. Welch Distinguished Chair in Chemistry and director of the Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute at UT Dallas.
Dr. Ray Baughman, one of the most talented and pioneering nanotechnologists of his time, has been recognized by his peers through election to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). He was one of only two Texans among 65 new members added by the Academy, according to an announcement Friday. Baughman, the Robert A. Welch Distinguished Chair in Chemistry in the School of Natural Science and Mathematics, and director of the Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute at UT Dallas, and was tapped for membership to the NAE for his contributions to the science of nanotechnology, specifically for his work in pioneering novel applications of conjugated polymers and related materials.
In a ceremony held recently at Nankai University, in Tianjin City, China, Dr. Ray Baughman received the university’s highest honorary title. The university lauded Baughman’s achievements in the field of nanotechnology, including the development of artificial muscles based on carbon nanotubes, by making him a Yang Shixian Professor. Baughman is a Robert A. Welch Chair in Chemistry and director of the Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute at UT Dallas. He was recognized for the appointment by Nankai University President Zihe Rao.
Over the last 15 years, researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas and their international colleagues have invented several types of strong, powerful artificial muscles using materials ranging from high-tech carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to ordinary fishing line.
In a new study
published July 12 in the journal Science
, the researchers describe their latest advance, called sheath-run artificial muscles, or SRAMs.
The research group’s previous muscles were made by twisting CNT yarn, polymer fishing line or nylon sewing thread. By twisting these fibers to the point that they coil, the researchers produced muscles that dramatically contract, or actuate, along their length when heated and return to their initial length when cooled.