TSU is creating nanotube materials for protection against radiation

Anastasia Kachusova, young radiophysicist under Olga Dotsenko, Associate Professor of the Faculty of Radiophysics, is creating light and cheap composite materials based on carbon nanotubes. Coatings from these composites will be able to protect living organisms and sensitive electronic devices from electromagnetic radiation.

Carbon nanotubes are one of the forms of carbon. They are widely used around the world to create new materials and coatings because of their characteristics - lightness, strength, and heat resistance. The shielding properties of carbon nanotubes are provided by their high conductivity.

- We use multi-walled nanotubes with an average diameter of 9.4 nm to create composite materials. Due to their cheapness and lightness, we can significantly reduce the weight and cost of the final product, - said Anastasia Kachusova.

To create composites, the nanotubes are mixed with a urethane-alkyd varnish, which makes the final material environmentally safe. Then the mixture is irradiated with ultrasound that allows achieving homogeneity of the composite and thereby enhances its useful properties.

Now Anastasia is examining the electromagnetic characteristics of the samples obtained to calculate the optimal thickness of the composite for each frequency, the concentration of nanotubes and their diameter, and the time of ultrasound treatment. Thus, materials for protection from different types of hazardous emissions can be obtained.

- Radiolocation, satellite television, radiocommunication, wireless computer networks, and satellite navigation operate in the frequencies of 3-14 GHz. Often, radiation at these frequencies causes interference in the communications. The coatings of our composites can protect sensitive components of radio equipment and thus prevent interference - says Anastasia Kachusova.

The research of Anastasia is conducted within a large project by TSU radiophysicists aimed at creating composite materials with the specified parameters (shielding efficiency, power and frequency of the radiation, and broadbandness) for electronic systems, the construction industry, and domestic use. A protective case for mobile phones from a composite material that limits the electromagnetic radiation that is harmful to humans has been created by this project.

- Composite materials based on nanotubes are studied in different countries, but our technology is simpler, and they are not inferior to their international analogs - emphasizes Gregory Kuleshov, the leader of the project, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Radiophysics. - Due to this, the protective coatings and other products made from TSU’s composites will be cost-effective.