Craig M. Whitaker  

Craig M. Whitaker,

Professor

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin

(410) 293-6633

Chemistry Department
U.S. Naval Academy
572M Holloway Road Annapolis, MD
21402-5026

cwhitake@usna.edu

Research Interests

Single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are amazing materials that have interesting properties and the potential to be incorporated into a wide variety of technological applications. Carbon nanotubes are currently being used as chemical sensors and SWNTs have been incorporated into reinforced polymer composites. Covalent functionalization of carbon nanotubes in a controlled manner plays a central role in tailoring the properties of SWNT devices. The development of functionalization methods for carbon nanotubes is of fundamental importance for gaining a greater knowledge of chemical reactivity for materials with nanoscale size.

Despite the threat of Swine and Avian Flu influenza and other viruses including HIV, RSV and diseases of bioterrorism such as Ebola, relatively little is known about the inflammatory mediators and mechanisms that drive the progression of these diseases to over active inflammation, cytokine storm, lung inflammation/dysfunction, organ failure, and ultimately death. Particularly, it is still not clear what are the endogenous inflammatory mediators that modulate the initial inflammatory responses (innate immunity) during infection. Even less is known about the early immune cascade of events that tilt the balance to either immune protection with resolution and recovery, or to the devastating overactive inflammatory response leading to immunopathology disease and death.

Liquid crystal polymers (LCP) are a family of plastics with exceptional physical, mechanical, and electrical properties. Fibers derived from LCPs (Vectran®) have exceptional mechanical properties and are used commercially for ropes and high strength industrial fabrics. Some of these fabrics have been employed for flexible radome composites in both terrestrial and aerospace applications. They have not been used in rigid structural composites for such applications due to the difficulty of adhering a matrix resin to the fibers.

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