Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology
Carbon is well known and used since ages as graphite or diamond. Carbon fibers are under intensive exploration since the 1960ies leading to innovative products in lightweight constructions, air crafts industries, wind energy or sports equipments. For high technology industry it is an irreplaceable product.
Sice 1991 carbon nanotubes (CNT) and carbon nanofibers (CNF) are under focus in the scientific community. Due to their outstanding properties, carbon nanotubes are considered as the material of the 21st century. Besides single wall nanotubes (SWNT) and multi wall nanotubes (MWNT), also double wall nanotubes (DWNT) and chemically functionalized nanotubes are commercially available. In addition also several carbon nanofibers distinguished e.g. as heringbone or platelete widen the material's diversity. Recently, also single graphite layers, kown as graphene, arouse the curiosity of the scientific community.
Fraunhofer IGB has longtime know-how and expertise in the characterization, plasma functionalization, dispersion and processing of carbon nanotubes. Besides carbon sheets commonly named bucky paper, also polymer composites, membranes, actuators and electrode materials are under investigation. A main focus lies on the toxicological assessment of these materials.
Fields of research
- Purification of CNT materials
- Production of Bucky Paper
- Characterization of CNT and Bucky Paper
- Functionalization of CNT and Bucky Paper
- Actuators (artificial muscles) based on carbon nanotubes
- Biocompatibility and toxicity of nanomaterials
Good to know
- What are Carbon Nanotubes?
Structures, Properties, Production techniques
If you are interested in a collaboration, please do not hesitate to contact us. Besides bilateral project we are also a preferred partner for EU-funded ore other projects.
- Selected projects
- Characterization of carbon nanomaterials at nearly all stages of a process with regard to:
- Structure / morphology
- Atomic composition
- Grafting properties
- Toxicity / biocompatibility
- Particle characterization
- Manufacturing of bucky paper and CNT-based membranes
- Development of CNT polymer composites
- Functionalization and / or coating of such materials by means of plasma technology, wet chemistry, or grafting techniques for
- Modified wettability / solubility
- Polymer composite development
- Testing of toxicity and biocompatibility using our cell test systems
- Product development
- Plasma reactor for CNT-treatments.
- Plasma reactor for CNF-treatments.
- Plasma reactors for CNT / CNF-treatments
Two different concepts of plasma reactor were designed and built up at the Fraunhofer IGB, a special parallel plate reactor and a (vertical) fluidized bed reactor. The latter was investigated in several geometrical partially custom-built variations.
Vohrer, U., Entwicklung von "Bucky Papern" für den Einsatz als künstlicher Muskel. Fraunhofer IGB Jahresbericht 2002, 2002, 80-81;
Vohrer, U., Development of "bucky paper" for the use as artificial muscles. Fraunhofer IGB, Biennal Report 2002/2003 2003, 80-81;
Haque, M. H.; Kolaric, I.; Vohrer, U.; Wallmersperger, T.; Kroeplin, B. In Carbon nanotube sheet actuator: theoretical and experimental investigations, Smart Structures and Materials 2004: Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD), San Diego, CA, USA, SPIE: San Diego, CA, USA, 2004; pp 249-259
Vohrer, U.; Kolaric, I.; Haque, M. H.; Roth, S.; Detlaff-Weglikowska, U., Carbon nanotube sheets for the use as artificial muscles. Carbon 2004, 42 (5-6), 1159-1164
Pötschke, P.; Hornbostel, B.; Roth, S.; Vohrer, U.; Dudkin, S. M.; Alig, I. In Purification and Percolation --- Unexpected Phenomena in Nanotube Polymer Composites, ELECTRONIC PROPERTIES OF NOVEL NANOSTRUCTURES: XIX International Winterschool/Euroconference on Electronic Properties of Novel Materials, Kirchberg, Tirol (Austria), AIP: Kirchberg, Tirol (Austria), 2005; pp 596-601
Vohrer, U., Carbon nanotubes - material of the 21st century. Fraunhofer IGB, Biennal Report 2004/2005 2005, 48-49
Li, Z.; Papakonstantinou, P.; Tobin, J. M.; Wang, K.; Vohrer, U.; Morris, M. A.; Kumar, S.; Attard, G.; Holmes, J. D., Supercritical Fluid Growth of Porous Carbon Nanocages. Chem. Mater. 2007, 19, 3349-3354
Schütz, W.; Michl, F.; Forero, S.; Mertsching, H.; Vohrer, U.; Brenner, M.; Peter, T.; Voetz, M.; Willmann, S.; Niederalt, C.; Ragot, J.; Oeben-Negele, M.; Übelmesser, P.; Sandner, H. In Toxicology and health risk assesment of carbon nanomaterials (TRACER), Procceedings -EuroNanoForum 2007, Nanotechnology in Industrial Applications, Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, 2007; pp 142-144
Vohrer, U., Plasma functionalization of carbon nanotubes and bucky papers. Fraunhofer IGB, Jahresbericht / Annual Report 2006/07 2007, 30-31
Vohrer, U., Carbon Nanotubes - Materials for the 21st Century? NanoS 2007, 3, 9-13
Vohrer, U.; Zschoerper, N. P., Kohlenstoff-Nanoröhren - Phönix aus der Asche. Vakuum in Forschung und Praxis 2007, 19 (2), 22-30
Vohrer, U.; Zschoerper, N. P.; Katzenmaier, V.; Barz, J.; Oehr, C.; Brunner, H. In Analytical assessment and functionalization of carbon nanotubes and bucky papers, Procceedings -EuroNanoForum 2007, Nanotechnology in Industrial Applications, Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, 2007; p 267;
Vohrer, U.; Zschoerper, N. P.; Koehne, Y.; Langowski, S.; Oehr, C., Plasma Modification of Carbon Nanotubes and Bucky Papers. Plasma Processes and Polymers 2007, 4, S871-S877;
Zschoerper, N. P.; Vohrer, U.; Oehr, C.; Brunner, H. In Plasmabehandlung von Carbon Nanotube Pulver und Bucky Papers, 13. Fachtagung Plasmatechnologie (PT 13), Bochum, 06 March 2007; Bochum, 2007;
Vohrer, U., Zwergenwelt mit Innovationspotential. nanoworld 2008, 01, 41-43;
Vohrer, U.; Zschoerper, N.; Moller, B., Carbon Nanotubes - A Material rising like a Phoenix. Vakuum in Forschung und Praxis - Vacuums Best 2008, 20 (S1), 38-46;
Pötschke, P.; Zschoerper, N. P.; Moller, B. P.; Vohrer, U., Plasma Functionalization of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube Bucky Papers and the Effect on Properties of Melt-Mixed Composites with Polycarbonate. Macromol. Rapid Commun. 2009, 30;
Zschoerper, N. P.; Katzenmaier, V.; Vohrer, U.; Haupt, M.; Oehr, C.; Hirth, T., Analytical investigation of the composition of plasma-induced functional groups on carbon nanotube sheets. Carbon 2009, 47, 2174-2185.