The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
awarded Carbon Nanotechnologies, Inc., Motorola, Inc. and Johnson
Matthey Fuel Cells, Inc. a $3.6 million grant to develop
"free standing" carbon nanotube electrodes for micro-fuel cells in order to
meet the ever-growing demand for more power and longer run times in portable
microelectronics. The Advanced Technology Program award from NIST supports a
3 year, $7.4 million project to exploit the unique properties of single wall
carbon-nanotubes (SWNT) in order to achieve significant breakthroughs in fuel
cell performance, durability and manufacturability.
"It is a privilege to be associated with such great technology focused
companies in this project and we are pleased that NIST sees the merit and the
potential in this technology," states Professor Richard E. Smalley, a 1996
Nobel Laureate and Carbon Nanotechnologies, Inc. chairman and co-founder.
"Single wall carbon-nanotubes will enable many new products and I believe that
fuel cell development will be an early beneficiary of their powerful
properties. Carbon nanotechnology should prove to be one of the great
enablers in solving our country's energy problems."
Hand-held electronic devices are increasing in sophistication with their
demands for electrical power seemingly rising exponentially. Rechargeable
battery technology is mature, and unlikely to satisfy this demand. Small fuel
cells have the potential to provide the power required, but this potential has
not yet been recognized. In the longer term, success of the "hydrogen
economy" is critically contingent upon increasing performance and durability,
while decreasing associated manufacturing costs of present-day proton exchange
membrane (PEM) fuel cells. These capabilities will be particularly important
in fuel cells for distributed power generation and automotive applications.
If successful, the technology would enable not only dramatically improved
compact PEM fuel cells for a host of current hand-held electronic devices, but
would also enable the design and commercialization of more powerful next
generation "wireless" devices.
The Advanced Technology Program, managed by the National Institute of
Standards and Technology, provides cost-shared funding to industry for high-
risk R&D projects with the potential to spark important, broad-based economic
benefits for the United States. The awards are made on the basis of a rigorous
peer-reviewed selection process. For more information, visit the ATP web site,