Nanotubes production research facility

The NRC's nanotubes production facility offers fabrication and prototyping of carbon and boron nitride nanotubes for real-world applications of these advanced materials.

Our capabilities

Nanotubes (carbon, boron nitride or mixtures) are advanced materials offering many benefits compared to traditional materials including:

  • unparalleled mechanical properties (strength, stiffness and toughness)
  • being spun into fibres and yarns
  • making papers and films
  • high electrical conductivity (carbon nanotubes outperform copper, for example)
  • high thermal conductivity (among the highest of any known material)
  • high chemical stability
  • unique electronic and optical characteristics
  • biocompatible features
  • enhanced flame retardation
  • reduced mechanical failures and elimination of electromagnetic interference
  • as little as 0.1% by weight of nanotubes can be enough to take advantage of some of these valuable properties.

Tailored properties for your specific applications

The NRC has vast experience with the synthesis, manipulation and processing of nanotubes and their integration into composite materials. NRC chemists and engineers can tailor the final properties of the composites in which the nanotubes are imbedded to satisfy the requirements of your individual applications. We also offer processes to prepare neat nanotube sheets and films, and we are currently developing processes to make neat and composite fibres.

Performance and testing

The NRC offers proven engineering expertise for materials design, formulation, fabrication and testing. This broad range of capability allows you, our customer, to understand the mechanical and physical properties of your nanotube material. For example, tests of fibre-reinforced composite laminates demonstrate that fracture toughness and low-speed impact behaviour of carbon fibre laminated structures can be increased by adding only 0.1% (by wt.) of single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNT).

Other examples of nanotube applications at the NRC include:

  • light-weight armoured materials to protect soldiers and security personnel against improvised explosive devices and ballistic impacts
  • reinforced transparent materials like windows, shields and goggles
  • sporting goods like hockey sticks, baseball bats and protective gear that are lighter or resistant to breakage
  • nano-modified adhesives to bond structures in the aerospace and automotive industries
  • integrated sensing and health monitoring
  • electronic and optoelectronics devices
  • multi-functional polymers and composites
  • transport applications using light-weight carbon-based composites
  • highly conductive SWCNT for energy efficiency applications
  • enhanced paper products that are fire retardant and electrically conductive

Benchmarks for product quality and evaluation

Laboratories in Canada and around the world can benefit by using the NRC's certified reference materials as performance benchmarks for SWCNT product quality and evaluation.


The NRC has all the necessary tools and expertise to characterize nanotubes, from synthesis through to final composites. We offer full chemical and physical analyses and characterization of nanotubes and nanotube-based materials.

Why work with us

The NRC's nanotubes production facility in Ottawa, Ontario, produces superior-quality material at scaled-up production levels.

Our boron nitride nanotubes production capacity is the largest in the world, producing up to 10 grams per hour.

We also produce single-walled carbon nanotubes at rates of up to two grams per minute, or one kilogram per day.

We offer fabrication and prototyping for real-world applications of these advanced materials. The NRC's integrated approach provides a one-stop shop for the synthesis, characterization, chemical integration of nanotubes, structures fabrication and testing.

Our nanotubes can be integrated into thermosets, thermoplastics, elastomers, aramids and inorganic materials such as ceramics and metals.

Image gallery

Ottawa, Montreal Road research facilities

Contact us

Roderick Paterson, Director, Business Development
Quantum and Nanotechnologies Research Centre
Telephone: 613-991-9047


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