Buckypaper is made from carbon nanotubes -- amazingly strong fibers about 1/50,000th the diameter of a human hair that were first developed in the early 1990s. . . .
Among the possible uses for buckypaper that are being researched at FAC2T [Florida Advanced Center for Composite Technologies]:
- If exposed to an electric charge, buckypaper could be used to illuminate computer and television screens. It would be more energy-efficient, lighter, and would allow for a more uniform level of brightness than current cathode ray tube (CRT) and liquid crystal display (LCD) technology.
- As one of the most thermally conductive materials known, buckypaper lends itself to the development of heat sinks that would allow computers and other electronic equipment to disperse heat more efficiently than is currently possible. This, in turn, could lead to even greater advances in electronic miniaturization.
- Because it has an unusually high current-carrying capacity, a film made from buckypaper could be applied to the exteriors of airplanes. Lightning strikes then would flow around the plane and dissipate without causing damage.
- Films also could protect electronic circuits and devices within airplanes from electromagnetic interference, which can damage equipment and alter settings. Similarly, such films could allow military aircraft to shield their electromagnetic "signatures," which can be detected via radar.
Reported in Science Daily