Nanotech Discoveries Land Starring Role on PBS Show
NOVA Explores UT Dallas Team's Extraordinarily Strong Carbon Nanotube Yarns
Jan. 19, 2011
Dr. Ray Baughman, director of the UT Dallas NanoTech Institute, and team researchers will be featured in an upcoming episode of the national PBS television program, NOVA.
UT Dallas makes its debut in the first of a four-part series that takes a fun look at the future of different technologies and how they might revolutionize everyday life and enable radically-new human advancements.
Dr. Baughman and his team appear in the episode “Stronger,” where they describe their remarkable carbon nanotube yarns and sheets and fuel-powered artificial muscles.
UT Dallas’ carbon nanotube sheets can be lighter than air and stronger pound-per-pound than steel. A nanotube sheet, for instance, can be made so thin and have such low density that an acre area of solar sail for space travel or solar energy harvesting would weigh only 4 ounces. Their fuel powered muscles, which are 500 times stronger than natural muscle, are targeted for artificial limbs, garments that amplify feeble movements of the infirm and humanoid robots providing both assistance and protection.
Other NanoTech researchers featured in the show include undergraduate student Carter Haines, post doctorial fellow Marcio Lima and laboratory associate Chi Lewis.
Funding for the described research was provided by grants from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation, and the Robert A. Welch Foundation.
The show premiers Jan. 19, at 8 p.m. on local PBS affiliate KERA-TV.
If they had muscles made out of nanotechnology materials under study at UT Dallas, the body builders flanking Dr. Ray Baughman would be able to lift about 50 tons. (Photo Courtesy of Powderhouse Productions)
The microscopic yarns made possible by nanotechnology research are stronger pound per pound than steel.