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Award Abstract #0304508

NIRT: Nanostructured Carbons from Self-Assembled Block Copolymer Precursors: From Synthesis and Characterization to Devices

Division of Materials Research
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Initial Amendment Date: July 1, 2003
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Latest Amendment Date: July 7, 2008
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Award Number: 0304508
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Award Instrument: Continuing grant
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Program Manager: Andrew J. Lovinger
DMR Division of Materials Research
MPS Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences
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Start Date: July 1, 2003
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End Date: March 31, 2009 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $1,400,000.00
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Investigator(s): Tomasz Kowalewski tomek@andrew.cmu.edu (Principal Investigator)
Krzysztof Matyjaszewski (Co-Principal Investigator)
David Lambeth (Co-Principal Investigator)
Lisa Porter (Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: Carnegie-Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
PITTSBURGH, PA 15213-3815 (412)268-9527
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Program Reference Code(s): 1674, 5953, 9162, AMPP
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Program Element Code(s): 1517, 1773, 1775, 5979


This Nanoscale Interdisciplinary Team (NIRT), co-funded by the Divisions of Materials Research (DMR) and Electrical and Communications Systems (ECS) will use a combination of macromolecular engineering, self-assembly and solid state chemistry to develop a new generation of well-defined nanostructured carbons for electronics. This approach is based on controlled pyrolysis of self-organizing condensed phase precursors, such as well-defined block copolymers containing polyacrylonitrile, prepared using controlled radical polymerization techniques. The carbon materials, as a consequence of the self-organized nanoscale morphology of the block copolymer precursors, will exhibit a wide range of well-defined nanostructures of different dimensionalities (dots, filaments, lamellae, and complex three-dimensional architectures). The team will undertake a concentrated, systematic, interdisciplinary effort to map the phase diagrams of the block copolymer precursors and resulting nanostructured carbons, and determine the relationship between the molecular compositions and processing conditions and the resulting nanostructure and electronic properties. Particular emphasis will be given on the establishment of the relationship between the pyrolysis conditions and the resulting carbon nanostructures, and their electronic properties.


Novel nanostructured carbon materials obtained through this effort could potentially find a wide range of electronic device applications ranging from field emission flat panel displays to sensors and actuators, as well as, environmentally friendly devices for energy conversion (photovoltaic cells) and energy storage (supercapacitors). The team will develop prototypes for some of the most promising of these applications and will identify the nanostructures/properties most desirable for each.. The proposed synthetic methods are potentially scalable for use in commodity, engineering carbons. Thus it is anticipated that the research results may provide a basis for practical large-scale technologies. The team has ties to industry, through the Atom Transfer Polymerization/Controlled Radical Polymerization Consortium housed at Carnegie Mellon. Strong industrial participation in this consortium will facilitate transfer of information and technology generated by the proposed activities and will provide a starting point for industrial partnerships. The broader educational impacts of the team's efforts will include training graduate and undergraduate students and postdoctoral fellows in a highly interdisciplinary environment. The members of the team will also participate in Carnegie Mellon's Science-Van K-12 outreach program, developing units aimed at acquainting students with nanoscience and nanotechnology.



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Gierszal,Kamil P.; Jaroniec, Mietek. "Large Pore Volume Carbons with Uniform Mesopores: Synthesis,," J. Phys Chem. C, 2007.

Kulkarni,P.; McCullough, L.; Kowalewski, T. and Porter, L.M.. "Investigation of Electrical Properties of Nanostructured Carbon Films Derived from Block Copolmyers," Synthetic Metals, v.159, 2009, p. 1.

Kruk, M.; Dufour, B.; Celer, E. B.; Kowalewski, T.; Jaroniec, M.; Matyjaszewski, K.. "Atom transfer radical polymerization initiated from surfaces of ordered mesoporous silicas," PMSE Preprints, v.97, 2007, p. 274.

Wu, Wei; Smilgies, Detief- M.; Tristram-Nagle, Stephanie; Matyjaszewski, Krzysztof; Kowalewski, Tomasz. "Spatial control of morphology in block copolymers with crystalline segments using zone casting," PMSE Preprints, v.95, 2006, p. 314.

Kruk, M.; Dufour, B.; Celer, E.B.; Kowalewski, T.; Jaroniec, M. and Matyjaszewski, K.. "Grafting Monodisperse Polymer Chains from Concave Surfaces of Ordered Mesoporous Silicas," Macromolecules, v.41, 2008, p. 8584.

Kruk, Michal; Kohlhaas, Kevin M.; Dufour, Bruno; Celer, Ewa B.; Jaroniec, Mietek; Matyjaszewski, Krzysztof; . "Partially graphitic, high-surface-area mesoporous carbons from polyacrylonitrile templated by ordered and disordered mesoporous silicas," Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, v.102, 2007, p. 178.

Bowles, Steven E.; Wu, Wei; Kowalewski, Tomasz; Schalnat, Matthew C.; Davis, Robert J.; Pemberton, Jeanne E.; Shim, Inbo; Korth, Bryan D.; Pyun, Jeffrey. "Magnetic Assembly and Pyrolysis of Functional Ferromagnetic Colloids into One-Dimensional Carbon Nanostructures," Journal of the American Chemical Society, v.129, 2007, p. 8694.

Tang, C; Dufour, B; Kowalewski, T; Matyjaszewski, K. "Synthesis and morphology of molecular brushes with polyacrylonitrile block copolymer side chains and their conversion into nanostructured carbons," MACROMOLECULES, v.40, 2007, p. 6199. 

Wu, W; Tsarevsky, NV; Hudson, JL; Tour, JM; Matyjaszewski, K; Kowalewski, T. ""Hairy" single-walled carbon nanotubes prepared by atom transfer radical polymerization," SMALL, v.3, 2007, p. 1803. 

Huang, JY; Tang, CB; Lee, H; Kowalewski, T; Matyjaszewski, K. "A novel route for the preparation of discrete nanostructured carbons from block copolymers with polystyrene segments," MACROMOLECULAR CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS, v.208, 2007, p. 2312. 

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Kowalewski, T.;  Tang, C.;  Kruk, M.;  Dufour, B.;  Matyjaszewski, K.. "Advances in Nanostructured Carbons from Block Copolymers Prepared by Controlled Radical Polymerization Techniques", 07/01/2005-07/01/2006, , K. Matyjaszewski"Controlled/Living Radical Polymerization",  2006, "ACS Symposium Volume".

Kruk, M.;  Tang, C.;  Dufour, B.;  Matyjaszewski, K.;  Kowalewski, T.. "Nanostructured Carbons from Block Copolymers", 07/01/2005-07/01/2006, , Lazzari, M.; Liu, G.; Lecommandoux, S.,"Block Copolymers in Nanoscience",  2006, "Wiley-Vch".

Gorka, J. and Jaroniec, M.. "SBA-15-Templating Synthesis and Properties of Pyrrole-Based Ordered Mesoporous Carbons", 07/01/2007-06/30/2008, , A. Sayari and M. Jaroniec"Nanoporous Materials",  2008, "World Scientific Publ. Co., Singapore".


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