Carbon nanotube manufacturing

With Canatu’s unique process we are able to make many different kinds of carbon nanotubes. As we develop our process further, we will control manufacturing even more and create even more possibilities. Our unique process is the secret to creating the most advanced carbon nanotubes for highly-engineered products.

The way we manufacture Canatu CNT gives it its transformative potential for industry-redefining products now and in the future.

There are multiple ways that carbon nanotubes are manufactured. We have refined our process over the years, and it is fine-tuned to the point where we can ensure consistent quality.

Today, Canatu mass-produces its products for three companies in the automotive and one in the semiconductor industry.

One unique characteristic of manufacturing Canatu CNT is that it is based on dry deposition rather than liquid dispersion. This results in cleaner, longer and practically defect-free carbon nanotubes. ln our process, described below, carbon nanotubes can be deposited on any substrate in atmospheric conditions.

Floating Catalyst Chemical Vapor Deposition

One of the methods of manufacturing CNT is the Floating Catalyst Chemical Vapor Deposition (FC-CVD). Controlling the CNT growth during FC-CVD in mass production is challenging. In fact, it has slowed down CNT becoming more widespread faster despite its remarkable properties. It is also why carbon nanotubes from a vendor may largely vary from batch to batch. Canatu has overcome these barriers.

Canatu’s unique process ensure consistent quality of the most advanced carbon nanotubes for highly engineered solutions.

Canatu has developed a special FC-CVD process for carbon nanotube manufacturing. During this process, catalyst particles are created at the top of the reactor. These particles float downwards with a carrier gas towards a membrane filter. As the catalyst particles flow through the reactor, carbon nanotubes grow on the catalyst particles before landing directly on the filter, forming the CNT film. The benefits of this method include being low-cost, readily scalable and enhanced control of CNT growth, thereby ensuring optimal film and membrane performance.

For CNT films, the deposited carbon nanotubes are transferred from the collection filter to a plastic substrate film, before being chemically functionalized. Chemical functionalization serves to improve the conductivity and stability in conductive films, whilst improving sensitivity and selectivity in electrochemical sensors.

For free-standing CNT membranes, the deposited carbon nanotubes are transferred to a frame before going through post-treatments which serve to modify or enhance properties. For example, densification can be done for EUV pellicles to ensure better adhesion of the carbon nanotubes to the frame material. The final step of the manufacturing process for both CNT films and free-standing CNT membranes involves inspecting and testing the final product before sending the approved pieces to be packaged.

Canatu has 20 years of experience in carbon nanotube manufacturing with FC-CVD, and almost 10 years of experience in mass-producing the highest quality carbon nanotubes for the most demanding applications.

Dry deposition vs. wet dispersion

Canatu CNTs are nucleated in a reactor and deposited onto a substrate at room temperature. The liquid dispersion step is eliminated. Our unique dry process results in cleaner, longer and virtually defect-free carbon nanotubes, benefiting applications where precision and reliability are vital.

Discover differences

Canatu has exceptionally precise control over carbon nanotube manufacturing and the CNT structure. It is visible in how Canatu has industrialized CNT manufacturing. Further confirmation of the remarkability is that Canatu currently produces transparent conductive CNT film, which has the best industrially applicable sheet resistance to optical transparency ratio ever seen in CNT films with a sheet resistance of 35Ω/sq at 90% transmittance.

Record-breaking transparent conductive film

In 2021, Canatu made a world-record in commercial-scale manufactured carbon nanotube transparent conductive film transmittance and electrical conductivity. This significant achievement expands the potential applications for Canatu CNT and makes the material more affordable for automotive ADAS heater and flexible touch applications.

Read more

Mass manufacturing in Finland

Canatu transparent conductive films and free-standing CNT membranes are manufactured in a new factory in Finland. Built to support further manufacturing lines, the factory houses a fully automated roll-to-roll CNT film manufacturing line and cleanroom for production and R&D. Canatu has an additional film manufacturing and sensor prototyping line at its factory. This enables fast turnaround samples and small-scale production to support customers from initial concept to mass development and all the way through to mass production. Canatu has been mass-producing CNT films since 2015 and has recently ramped up the mass production of free-standing membranes in 2021.

The best illustration of Canatu’s manufacturing experience and expertise is the lack of field returns. Back in 2015, Canatu had initially delivered half a million touch sensors without any field returns under the company’s first mass production order for a transparent touch controller.

“Thanks to our well-controlled process, the field return rate remains at zero, and we keep getting positive customer feedback month after month. This is concrete proof that our technology solves real customer needs and meets the stringent requirements of the automotive industry”

Markku Lamberg, VP of Customer Projects and Supply Chain

This level of consistency and reliability continued strong over the years. By 2022, Canatu had delivered nearly 1M touch sensors with a field return rate of zero.

Contact our specialist in carbon nanotube manufacturing

Taneli Juntunen Canatu
Taneli Juntunen
VP, Engineering +358 408 342 713

Send us a message

Related content

Canatu microscope
Canatu CNT is our product

Through experience, we have achieved consistent quality and properties with carbon nanotubes, which gives Canatu CNT transformative potential. Delve deep into carbon nanotubes.

Canatu CNT properties

Carbon nanotubes have unique mechanical, electrical, thermal, optical, and chemical properties. CNTs have very high tensile strength, high thermal and electrical conductivity, they are highly flexible and very elastic. Discover CNT properties.

Canatu CNT variants

Based on our expertise, we have developed manufacturing and product platforms that give us a scalable foundation for developing diverse solutions and applications. Find the fundamentals.

Canatu hero image reactor
Canatu CNT product platforms

Based on our expertise, we have developed manufacturing and product platforms that give us a scalable foundation for developing diverse solutions and applications. Find the fundamentals.