FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Friday, October 21, 2005

Buckypaper: Strong, Light and Flexible

What are the uses of a material that is 250 times stronger than steel, yet 10 times lighter, and highly conductive of heat and electricity? The applications could fill a book -- or a blog -- which is why a Florida State University research group is devoting time and effort to research the potential of "buckypaper."

So named because it is made of nanotubes of Buckminsterfullerene (a.k.a. buckyballs or carbon 60), buckypaper could be used to create flexible video displays (e-paper at last?), lightning-proof exteriors for airplanes and other structures, armor that's invisible to radar, and electronics that are smaller and more rugged than anything currently in existence.

Buckypaper has displayed such potential that the FSU project, led by recognized nanomaterials expert Ben Wang, has received two military grants totalling $3.7 million.

Source: EurekAlert