Dr. Bedewy wins a $330,000 NSF research grant to study the birth and death of nanotubes

Dr. Bedewy wins a $330,000 NSF research grant to study the birth and death of nanotubes

Dr. Bedewy has been awarded a new research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for $330,000 as a single principal investigator (PI).  The award, titled “Functionally Graded Carbon Nanotubes by Dynamic Control of Morphology during Chemical Vapor Deposition”, will fund research in the NanoProduct Lab (Bedewy Research Group)  for three years focusing on studying and controlling the catalytic activation (birth) and deactivation (death) during the chemical synthesis of vertically aligned nanotubes.

According to the award description on NSF website: “Carbon nanotubes are tubes that are smaller than one ten-thousandth of a human hair and can be thought of as atom-thick sheets that are wrapped seamlessly into tubes. The superior chemical and physical properties of individual nanotubes, as well as the collective unique directionality of energy and mass transport through large populations of aligned carbon nanotubes underpin their potential in many critical technological areas.”


Electron micrograph (magnified 50,000 times) of an array of vertically aligned carbon nanotube, also referred to as CNT forests, which are grown in Dr. Bedewy’s lab


“The commercial production of carbon nanotubes exceeds several thousand tons per year and are used in products that rely on the random dispersion of nanotubes of various lengths and diameters into a matrix to enhance their composite properties. However, emerging applications such as high power-density devices, 3D nanoelectronics, nanoporous membranes, and structural materials require more precise control of the spatial variation of sizes, order and hierarchical morphology of aligned carbon nanotube ensembles,” said Dr. Bedewy

“I am very excited about this NSF grant, which will enable us to create nanotube “forests” with tailored morphology, leveraging the unique capabilities of our custom-designed rapid-thermal chemical vapor deposition (RT-CVD) reactor. Our work will shed light on the stochastic nature of how individual nanotubes “pop” into existence in a population of billions of neighboring nanotubes, whose growth is seeded from catalytically active nanoparticles.  Revealing the interplay between the kinetics of this “birth” and “death” of nanotubes is key to understand their population behavior during growth, which dictates their overall hierarchical structure and collective properties.” added Dr. Bedewy.


News about this award is featured on the front page of the Swanson School of Engineering Website (https://www.engineering.pitt.edu/)


Dr. Bedewy joined the faculty of the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh in Fall 2016 as an Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering, where he established the NanoProduct Lab.


Award details on NSF website

Press release from the Swanson School of Engineering