Although carbon nanomaterials are often labeled as the future replacement for silicon in electronics and a new generation of robust materials, there are major shortcomings in the assembly of carbon nanomaterials into higher order structures. Two- and three-dimensional structures are required for many desirable applications of these materials. Present methods for 2D assemblies include challenges with regards to scalability, suitability for a large variety of substrates, mechanical stability, and/or biocompatibility. Very few strategies exist for fabrication of three-dimensional structures (> 1mm in all dimensions). Our goals were to develop an easily scalable spray coating fabrication process for in situ chemical crosslinking of carbon nanomaterials to develop more robust, flexible, and biocompatible coatings/films. Furthermore, the process has been adapted to provide a layer-on-layer deposition of nanomaterials into three-dimensional structures. The crosslinked nanomaterial films have shown significantly greater mechanical properties, good electrical conductivity, and cytocompatibility to human adipose derived stem cells. The 3D structures are greater than 1mm in all dimensions and are about 60% porous. This work enables the fabrication of more robust carbon nanotube and graphene coatings by a facile, scalable, and flexible method. It also elucidates a potential enabling technology for all-carbon nanomaterial 3D printing.
Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 1, Advanced Materials: TechConnect Briefs 2015
Published: June 14, 2015
Pages: 118 - 120
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topics: Carbon Nano Structures & Devices