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Reduction of Metal Oxides by Microwave Heating of Multi-walled Carbon Nanotubes

Microwave heating of a metal oxide in the presence of multi-walled carbon nanotubes may result in the reduction of the metal oxide to the neutral metal containing a network of carbon nanotubes. This metal matrix composite may have properties with increased the metal hardness, reductions in density, and enhanced electrical and thermal conductivity. 
The use of microwave heating of carbon nanotubes to reduce metal oxides to produce commercial usable metal products addresses two important aspects of metallurgy: energy usage and material performance.  This grant will focus on the possible metal matrix composites that can be formed.  It will capitalize on experience gained last summer when the reducing abilities of graphite and multiwalled carbon nanotubes were investigated as reducing agents for metal oxides.

Mentor: Samy Madbouly, Ames Lab associate and assistant professor, Materials Sciences and Engineering, Iowa State University