Nanotubes Group (MANA, Nano-Materials Field)

Structural analysis and property measurements of nanotubes and graphenes

The Nanotubes Group intends to analyze atomic structures, spatially-resolved chemical compositions, physical, chemical, thermal and optical properties of diverse nanotube and nanosheet structures made of carbon, boron nitride, Metal sulfides, oxides, borides, nitrides and selenides and other inorganic compounds. In particular, in situ TEM property measurements of nanotubes and other one- and two-dimensional structures are of highest priority. Constructing nanoscale prototype devices for electronic and functional applications, e.g. nanotubes/graphenes interconnects, field effect transistors, electron point sources, mass conveyers, weight balances, thermal probes and chemical sensors is in the agenda.

Specialized Research Field

Direct in situ TEM measurements of electrical and mechanical properties of nanotubes and graphenes

The group was first in the world to directly measure elastic, plastic and fracture properties of individual single-walled and multi-walled carbon and boron nitride nanotubes under the lattice resolution achievable in a high-resolution TEM. The detailed study of electronics and mechanics of free-standing carbon and inorganic graphenes and metal- or semiconductor-filled nanotubes is also performed.

Local temperature in situ TEM measurements on nanotubes and other nanostructures

The group is developing a revolutionary technique of measuring temperatures and their gradients using a state-of-the piezo-driven TEM holder where the double probe system creates a movable nanothermocouple. Under such measurements the effects of Joule heat and electron irradiation on nanoscale temperature field distribution are understood.

Optical, opto-electronic, photovoltaic and luminescence in situ TEM measurements

The group is also developing and utilizing various optical schemes compatible with a high-resolution transmission electron microscopy for the measurements of photoresponses from individual inorganic nanostructures under illumination with light of various wavelengths, pulse repetitions rates and sequences. The key point of these endeavors is that such responses may be perfectly matched with particular atomic and defect structures, and chemistry of any nanomaterial under ultimately high spatial resolutions, as determined using high-resolution TEM imaging, electron diffraction analysis and electron spectroscopy available.

Development of highly thermoconductive and electrically insulating composites

The group was the first in the world to develop carbon-free CVD methods for high-yield synthesis of ultra-pure BN nanotubes. By utilizing characteristics of BN nanotubes and nanoparticles, highly thermoconductive and insulating BN polymeric composite films will be developed for efficient heat sinks and mechanical engineering applications. In addition to BN nanostructured materials, inorganic nanowires of Al2O3、AlN , SiC and others will be also fabricated to develop highly thermoconductive and electrically insulating composite materials for energy saving applications.

Creation of inorganic nanoscaled materials and applications

Novel inorganic nanotubes and nanowires will be created in oxides, sulfides and nitrides and their novel properties will be investigated. In particular, single crystalline wide-band-gap semiconducting nanowires such ZnS, ZnO and others will be created at high yield large for ultraviolet sensors (wavelength of 330-400nm) and field emission applications. The B-C-N graphenes and nanosheets will also be created. The surface structures analysis of nanostructured materials will be carried out by using ion scattering spectroscopy.

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Nanotubes Group
1-1 Namiki, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-0044 JAPAN
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