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Mark S. Meier

Professor of Chemistry
Organic and Materials Chemistry




Office: 341 Chemistry-Physics Building
Phone: (859) 257-3837
FAX: (859) 323-1069
Email: meier 'at' uky.edu


1988 Ph.D., University of Oregon
1988-1990 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Texas at Austin

 


Carbon Nanotube Chemistry

The organic chemistry of carbon nanotubes presents us with a new set of challenges, not the least of which is the complete insolubility of these materials.  We are actively involved with a set of researchers, including Professors Selegue and Anthony, as well as Dr. Rodney Andrews at the Center for Applied Energy Research, who are developing new chemical processes for making nanotube-based composite materials.  Chemical functionalization of nanotubes is essential for dispersion in a composite, as well as for covalent bonding with the matrix material itself.

We have been investigating both classical cylindrical multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) as well as a type of nanotube that is composed of a series of stacked cups.  This structure resembles bamboo, and it presents a very different surface to the surrounding medium. Cylindical MWNTs present basal plane graphite to the outside, while bamboo MWNTs present graphene edges.  This results in a dramatic shift in reactivity, we are able to exploit these differences to producing some interesting changes in structure.   

Our research is at the interface of molecular chemistry and materials chemistry, and we collaborate closely with chemical engineers at the Center for Applied Energy Research. Through this collaboration we are able to participate in projects where we tailor nanotubes for use in a variety of composite matrices.