Fullerene Derivatives in Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics

RIKEN Institute's Tajima Nano Materials Research Laboratory is researching techniques to reinforce carbon fiber reinforced plastics using fullerene derivatives.

Fullerenes are molecules composed entirely of carbon atoms that are connected together in the shape of a soccer ball. Unlike other carbon materials, fullerenes easily undergo a chemical reaction when dissolved in an organic solvent, and therefore applications of fullerenes are expected in various fields.

One possible application is to incorporate fullerenes in general purpose plastics to enhance the functions of the plastics. More specifically, the use of fullerenes is expected in carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), which is used in airplanes to make the plastic lighter and stronger.

Another application of fullerenes is in organic thin film solar cells. If fullerenes are used as the material for solar cells in place of silicon, concerns about depleting our silicon resource can be eliminated, and low cost, flexible solar cells that can be installed anywhere can be expected.

Run Time 2.04 mins

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