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Researchers grow carbon nanofibers using ambient air

Vertically aligned carbon nanofibers

Researchers have shown they can grow vertically aligned carbon nanofibers using ambient air, rather than ammonia gas, making the manufacturing process safer and less expensive.

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In 2014, researchers from North Carolina State University (NC State) demonstrated that vertically aligned carbon nanofibers (VACNFs) can be manufactured using ambient air -- rather than ammonia air, the conventional technique -- making the manufacturing process safer and less expensive. VACNFs hold promise for use in gene-delivery tools, sensors, batteries and other technologies.

"This discovery makes VACNF manufacture safer and cheaper, because you donít need to account for the risks and costs associated with ammonia gas," says Anatoli Melechko, an adjunct associate professor of materials science and engineering at NC State and senior author of a paper published on the work. "This also raises the possibility of growing VACNFs on a much larger scale."

The research was supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) (grant DMR 10-56653).

To learn more about this research, see the NSF News From the Field story Researchers grow carbon nanofibers using ambient air, without toxic ammonia. (Date image taken: 2014; date originally posted to NSF Multimedia Gallery: July 20, 2018)

Credit: Anatoli Melechko/North Carolina State University
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