Benji Maruyama
Senior Materials Research Engineer
Air Force Research Laboratory
Materials & Manufacturing Directorate

Automated Experimentation Applied to Carbon Nanotube Synthesis

Location: EB1 Room 1011

Friday, February 13th 2015 - 11:00 am

Carbon nanotubes have an exciting array of applications which span mechanical, electrical, thermal and chemical/sensing. However, full exploitation is slowed by a lack of control over synthesis. Despite the two decades since the explosion of work in the area, progress in controlled production of nanotubes is impeded by our lack of understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of nucleation and growth. To this end, we have developed a method, Automated Rapid Experimentation and in-situ Spectroscopy (ARES) which speeds the rate of experimentation by 100 times. We are also exploring experimental parameter space autonomously, using the same AI and machine learning approaches used in advanced robotics. Our intent is to integrate computation and simulation explicitly into our closed-loop experimentation system to direct the path of exploration, yielding faster results with better fidelity than conventional approaches. We use this to determine the conditions which discriminate between single wall and multiwall carbon nanotube synthesis.

Dr. Benji Maruyama is a Senior Materials Research Engineer in the Air Force Research Laboratory, Materials & Manufacturing Directorate. He leads research on the synthesis and processing science of carbon nanotubes. Dr. Maruyama created and is developing a new method research: Autonomous Experimentation for Materials Research. He is also the point of contact for carbon materials for the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate. His background and interests include carbon nanomaterials, energy storage, field emission, carbon, polymer and metal matrix composites, imaging of complex 3D microstructures and combinatorial experimentation. He is currently involved in the study of the origins of chiral growth for carbon nanotubes, nanostructured materials for battery electrodes, in-situ experimentation and catalyst development.

North Carolina State University