ABSTRACT: Carbon materials are enabling components in a wide variety of current and emerging technologies. Carbon materials have enjoyed a special status in the general science community over the last 30 years through discoveries that have led to two Nobel Prizes and two Kavli Prizes for nanoscience. New carbon nanoforms (fullerenes, nanotubes, graphene) have played a central role in the nanotechnology movement, where they served as models of atomic perfection that inspired the discovery and development of other low-dimensional materials.
This talk will give a brief overview of the history of carbon materials and a perspective on future research directions in the field. The talk will feature recent work from our laboratory using graphene oxide as an atomically-thin, sheet-like, giant molecular precursor for assembling new carbon architectures. Colloidal populations of GO nanosheets can be aligned, stacked, folded, crumpled, wrapped, gelled and/or deposited to create novel material structures not accessible through conventional routes. The talk will also give a status update and perspective on the important issue of nanocarbon safety, and will present a new tool for the safe design and selection of 1D carbons nanoforms based on quantitative geometric criteria.
BIOGRAPHY: Robert Hurt is a Professor of Engineering at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island and Director of the NIH-supported Superfund Research Program Center at Brown on environmental health. He received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in chemical engineering and held a post at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California before coming to Brown. He was the founding Director of Brown’s materials and nanosciences institute, IMNI, and served 2004-2010 as Editor of Carbon, and 2013-2018 as Editor-in-Chief. He has been Technical Program Chair for the International Carbon Conference and Graffin Lecturer of the American Carbon Society. He received the Tau Beta Pi teaching award at Brown, the Charles E. Pettinos Award of the American Carbon Society in 2013, and the 2017 Graphene Award of the International Association of Advanced Materials. He has co-authored over 140 scientific publications and his current research focuses on carbon materials, 2D materials, environmental nanotechnology, the nano-bio-interface, and safe material design.