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  • Carbon Nanotechnologies Joins Institute for Solider Nanotechnologies
Jun 2003
HOUSTON, June 5 -- Carbon Nanotechnologies Inc. (CNI) announced it has been selected as a small-business industrial member of the Institute for Solider Nanotechnologies, which opened at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in May.

The institute, a program of MIT and the US Army Research Office, is a $50 million, 150-person initiative that will serve as the Army's center of expertise in the application of nanotechnology. Its goal is to increase the protection and survivability of US soldiers with new technologies that target several key soldier capabilities: protection from bullets, blasts and chem/bio threats; automated medical monitoring and treatment; improved performance; and reduced load weight.

CNI is developing materials based on single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs), also known as Buckytubes. Buckytubes are an engineering polymer of pure carbon, with 100 times the strength of steel at less than one sixth the weight. This cylindrical polymer of pure carbon -- said to be the strongest, toughest, stiffest material known -- conducts electricity like metals and conducts heat better than diamond. Buckytubes can be modified to tailor their properties for a wide variety of uses.

CNI researchers will work with the Institute for Solider Nanotechnologies to develop stronger fibers for use in protective clothing and to develop stronger, tougher, lighter ceramic plates used to protect soldiers from high-power rifles. Buckytubes also hold the promise of enabling multifunctional protection for the soldier; this could include clothing that can sense a wound and automatically form a splint, or materials that have built-in chemical and biological detection and protection capabilities.

Other ISN industrial partners are DuPont, Raytheon, Partners Healthcare, Dow Corning, Triton Systems, Dendritic Nanotechnologies, Nomadics and W.L. Gore and Associates.

CNI was founded in early 2000 to commercialize the scientific breakthroughs in carbon nanotechnology made at Rice University under the direction of Nobel prize-winning scientist Richard Smalley.

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