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Noted MIT Researcher Delivers Tripathy Lecture

Timothy Swager Will Discuss Uses of Carbon Nanotubes

Prof. Timothy Swager of MIT

By Edwin L. Aguirre

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) — long, thin cylindrical hollow structures measuring billionths of a meter wide and composed exclusively of carbon atoms — are among the most wondrous building blocks used in the 21st century. Materials made from CNTs are thousands of times stronger than steel, yet are lightweight, flexible and transparent like glass. CNTs have unique electrical properties and are efficient conductors of heat. These qualities make them ideal for use in nanotechnology, electronics, optics and materials science as well as medicine and architecture.

CNTs can be used in everyday items like clothes and sports gear, as well as in body armor, nanotube-based transistors and capacitors, paper batteries, solar cells, light-bulb filaments, touch-screen and flexible displays, biochemical sensors, air-pollution filters, water filters and much more.

Want to learn more? Attend the Konarka Tripathy Endowed Memorial Lecture at 3:30 p.m on Thursday, Oct. 28, in Ball Hall Room 210 on North Campus.

Timothy Swager, the John D. MacArthur Professor of Chemistry at MIT, will speak about “Chemistry and the Applications of Carbon Nanotubes.” 

Each year, a leading scientist in the field of materials science comes to UMass Lowell to present a lecture in memory of Sukant K. Tripathy. The late UMass Lowell professor of chemistry was an internationally recognized leader in research in the area of thin polymer films in electronics and optics, publishing more than 200 refereed papers and holding two dozen patents. He founded the Center for Advanced Materials (CAM) and was formerly the University’s provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.

Now in its 10th year, the memorial lecture is co-sponsored by Konarka Technologies and the CAM. Konarka is a world leader in the technology and applications of low-cost, flexible photovoltaic polymers.

Swager joins a distinguished list of Nobel laureates and leading figures in materials science research who have delivered the memorial lecture. This includes Profs. Alan MacDiarmid and Alan Heeger (co-winners, 2000 Nobel Prize in Chemistry), Robert Grubbs (co-winner, 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry) and Craig Mello (co-winner, 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine).

Other campus activities honoring Tripathy’s memory include the Tripathy Endowed Memorial Summer Graduate Fellowship, which is awarded to doctoral students for outstanding research in the fields of materials and polymer sciences, and the Tripathy Memorial Symposium, which showcases the latest advances in the field each year.

For more information, visit the CAM website.

Prof. Sukant Tripathy (1952ߝ2000)