Multiscale Manufacturing of Carbonaceous Materials

Glassy carbon and carbides are already important in many applications including sensors, batteries, and capacitors. The focus of my program is to derive these materials from renewable resources and elucidate ways to control their structure, from the nano to the centimeter scale, to tailor their performance. The aim is at deriving multifunctional structures such as structural batteries and smart scaffolding. To this end, we are currently focusing on carbonizing cellulose structures, a widely available renewable resource, using pyrolysis protocols. Efforts on controlling the dimensions and composition of cellulose at the nano and microscales include bionanomanufacturing and origami. Regarding the milli- and macro-structure, we recently demonstrated the potential of origami-based techniques to derive carbon structures that exhibit superb specific strength from cellulosic paper. Ongoing work is on understanding the effect of processing on the microstructure and the properties of the carbonaceous structures.