The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) published on March 12, 2015, the proceedings of a September 15, 2014, meeting on “Realizing the Promise of Carbon Nanotubes: Challenges, Opportunities, and the Pathway to Commercialization,” held at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Headquarters. According to NNI, a number of common themes and potential future research and development priorities emerged:
- Increased efforts devoted to manufacturing, quality control, and scale-up;
- Improvements in the mechanical and electrical properties of carbon nanotube (CNT)-based bulk materials to approach the properties of individual CNTs;
- More effective use of simulation and modeling to provide insight into the fundamentals of the CNT growth process;
- Improved understanding of the properties of bulk CNT-containing materials at longer length scales;
- Standard materials and protocols to guide the testing of CNT-based products for commercial applications;
- Life cycle assessments for gauging commercial readiness; and
- Use of public-private partnerships or other collaboration vehicles to leverage resources and expertise to solve these technical challenges and accelerate commercialization.
NNI states that the outcomes of the meeting will help inform the future directions of the NNI Nanotechnology Signature Initiative “Sustainable Nanomanufacturing: Creating the Industries of the Future,” which aims to accelerate the development of industrial-scale methods for manufacturing functional nanoscale systems.