Canatu carbon nanotube optical filter for X ray astronomy

X-ray windows

Canatu carbon nanotube-based filters exhibit strong potential for X-Ray filter applications in space. Canatu CNT-based filters provide high X-ray transparency, robustness and chemical inertness. Such properties effectively allow X-Rays to pass through whilst blocking other wavelengths in order to effectively procure accurate X-Ray imaging of celestial objects.


Exploring carbon nanotubes as X-Ray windows in the space industry

Since its inception, Canatu has thrived on its expertise in carbon nanotubes and utilizing their unique properties to revolutionize various industries and applications. Particular focus has been placed on automotive applications and ADAS heating elements, as well as expansion into the semiconductor industry.

However, there is immense potential to use Canatu CNT material in many other ways, such as in the space industry. One such application is using Canatu CNT-based filters as X-Ray windows with potential applications ranging from X-Ray telescope to X-Ray imaging.

Canatu X Ray windows CNT filter space

X-Ray filter applications in space

Censoring X-Rays, which travel the furthest in space due to having the shortest wavelengths, allows one to see as far as possible into space to detect celestial objects.

For an instrument to detect X-Rays, it must be first taken to high altitude or into space by a telescope. An optimal filter must also remain highly transparent and robust to withstand the satellite launch.

Canatu CNT carbon nanotubes optical properties 1280x870

Canatu CNT-based filter properties

Canatu CNT-based filters exhibit the necessary properties that would ensure accurate X-Ray imaging of celestial objects.

CNT-based filters have extremely high X-ray transparency, are robust enough to withstand to pressure differentials and mechanical vibrations and are chemically inert. These properties collectively suggest strong potential for X-Ray filter applications.

Enabling further visibility to space

In 2020, Canatu joined the European Space Agency (ESA) program to develop a Canatu CNT-based optical filter for space X-Ray applications. Under this project, Canatu develops, tests, and supplies prototypes of optical filters using the Canatu CNT. These filters effectively allow X-Rays to pass through whilst blocking other wavelengths so as to procure accurate X-Ray imaging of celestial objects.

The optical filter using Canatu CNTs is projected to travel onboard the future space telescope, Athena

The Athena, which is expected to launch in 2028, will study the hot and energetic Universe obtaining information about black holes and how they relate to the creation of galaxies and galactic clusters.

Download Technical Paper

Download SPIE Photomask + EUV Lithography conference proceedings to learn more about the versatility of Canatu CNT, the unique dry deposition process, common variations and application potentials for the free-standing CNT membranes.

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