The demands placed on new, high-tech materials are continually increasing, and existing material systems are reaching their limits. Due to their exceptional electrical and mechanical properties, carbon nanotubes offer high potential for use in diverse applications.
Examples for applications which place increasingly high demands on materials include rotor blades for wind power plants. The performance of these plants has increased during the last decade from a few 100 kW to several MW, and further significant increases are planned for future plants. The same applies to energy storage materials: their performance must be significantly increased, particularly for e-mobility applications. And in the construction industry, higher-strength materials are needed, for example for longer bridges.
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are a relatively new material solution. Coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology, and funded by the European Commission's "Marie Curie" programme, 15 PhD students and 3 post docs will carry out research and development on materials and processes, characterisation methods, simulation tools and of course the implementation of the materials in the applications described above.
Within the Marie Curie Network, "CONTACT", industrial partners will work closely together with research institutions. The young researchers, who will be mainly be recruited over the next year, will have the opportunity of working both at well-known research institutions and commercial companies - in seven different European countries. They will also be trained in so-called "complementary skills" which will prepare them for future careers in research and management.
The network offers the chance for outstanding graduates and post docs with the appropriate qualifications to participate in an international project with partners from Portugal, Spain, Finland, England, Hungary, the Netherlands and Germany.
CNTs have the potential for application in a wide variety of future materials. The young researchers in the Marie Curie Network CONTACT will make a significant contribution in this field and will receive high-quality training, helping them to become the next generation of experts.
CONTACT is a research and training project funded by the European Commission's "Marie Curie" programme. CONTACT involves 10 partner organisations from 7 different countries, who will recruit 15 PhD students and 3 post docs for the project.
The research aim of CONTACT is the tailored industrial supply-chain development of CNT-filled polymer composites with improved mechanical and electrical properties. This will involve the optimisation of CNT synthesis and dispersion, and the processing of CNT compounds, as well as the modelling and characterisation of CNT and CNT composites. The new technologies will be upscaled for applications in four industrial case studies: construction, wind blades, electrically conducting parts and electrodes for redox-flow batteries.
The training aim of CONTACT is to prepare the recruited researchers for careers in the field of nanotechnology. This involves both multi-disciplinary scientific training, secondments in both academia and industry, and courses in complementary ("soft") skills.
The project will run from 1st October 2009 - 30th September 2013.
For more attend Printed Electronics Europe 2010.