Currently there is growing interest in the development of thin film heaters. Researchers are looking for low-cost, high-performance heating layers, which could be transparent and highly flexible. We have recently shown that macroscopic assemblies of carbon nanostructures, which we have developed in our group have the capacity to meet all the criteria for thin film heating layers.


Aircraft deicing

Ice, snow and frost in winter time present a serious issue for airlines where they must de-ice aircraft in order to ensure safe flight conditions. Currently aircrafts are sprayed with anti-freeze which is not only ecologically damaging and inefficient but also requires manpower, leads to flight delays and represents a significant financial burden for the airline companies. We explored an alternative method for melting ice deposits (see picture above) which is less labour intensive, less costly, not harmful to the environment and merely requires changing the position of one switch in the cockpit of an aircraft.

Rapid heating and cooling

Carbon nanotubes have exceptional thermal properties and resistive heat characteristics.  Once power is turned on it takes just milliseconds for a heater made of carbon nanotubes to reach a few hundred degrees which translates to an increase of almost 3,500°C per second. Carbon nanotube heaters would therefore be ideal for applications requiring extremely fast heating parameters.

Light emission
Unlike conventional black body radiators, when resistively heated, carbon nanotube heaters give characteristic peaks, making them very attractive for optoelectronic applications.