Mechanical Engineering, Applied Physics, Art+Design
University of Michigan
Precise control of the formation and organization of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) offers potential to engineer new materials having outstanding fundamental properties, as well as unprecedented combinations of these properties. Specifically, vertically aligned CNT “forests” are a model system for understanding what limits the growth of indefinite CNTs, and are building blocks for novel microsystems and composite materials. I will discuss the efficient synthesis of CNT forests by chemical vapor deposition, and three recent studies that build upon this process: transformation of lithographically patterned CNT forests into 3D microarchitectures using capillary forces; fabrication of high-aspect-ratio polymer microstructures using CNT master molds; and directed actuation of CNTs via swelling of hydrogels. The underlying processing methods will enable integration of CNT forests with conventional microfabrication, as well as design and manufacturing of large-area CNT-based surfaces.
John Hart is Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. John has Ph.D. (2006) and S.M. (2002) degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a B.S.E (2000) degree from the University of Michigan, all in Mechanical Engineering. John received the 2006 MIT Senturia Prize for best doctoral thesis in micro/nano technology, and graduate fellowships from the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation, National Science Foundation, and MIT Martin Foundation. Since joining the faculty at Michigan, John has been recognized by a DARPA Young Faculty Award (2008), two R&D100 Awards (2008, 2009), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Pi Tau Sigma Gold Medal (2009), the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Outstanding Young Investigator Award (2010), the University of Michigan Mechanical Engineering Faculty Achievement Award (2010), and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Program Award (2010). At Michigan, John directs the Mechanosynthesis Group, and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in design, manufacturing, nanotechnology, and research methods.