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UMaine Today Magazine

Discovering What's Next

Discovering What's Next- Barry Goodell
Xinfeng Xie

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Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are microscopic electron microscopic, actually but they have huge potential for University of Maine wood scientists. Prized for their strength and flexibility, as well as their conductive and insulating properties, CNTs could be used in everything from high-resolution flat-screen TVs to targeted drug delivery. But they're so expensive to produce that currently, there are few practical applications for these materials. University of Maine graduate students Xinfeng Xie and Yuhui Qian, together with visiting student Malte Pries of Georg-August University in Germany, and UMaine Professor Barry Goodell are exploring methods to produce CNTs from wood and plant fibers one of Maine's richest natural resources using more energy-efficient, cost-effective processes. The proprietary processes capitalize on cellulose structure, so the resulting nanotubes are already aligned for strength a key benefit over other methods.












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