The Effects of Surface Treatments on the Growth of CNTs on 3-Dimensional Carbon Foam Structure

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Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been the focus of significant research since Iijma’s 1991 Nature article. CNTs have primarily been grown on flat substrates for a range of potential applications due to their superior properties. However,limited research has been accomplished on open cell foam structures. The initial result from growing CNTs onto as-received foam samples resulted in low CNTs growth. This then prompted surface treatment research to enhance CNTs growth onto the foam surface. The efforts on surface modifications are focused on: as received sample, nitric acid treatment, oxidation, coating with Hexamethyldisilazane(HMDS), and atomic layer deposition of oxides. Dense, aligned CNTs were grown on all surfaces of 3-dimension open cell reticulated carbon foam. The best results were achieved when a thin layer of atomic layer deposition(ALD)Al2O3 was deposited on the foam prior to CNT growth. Highly aligned CNTs were realized using floating catalyst chemical vapor deposition with xylene and ferrocene as the carbon and catalyst sources,respectively. Growing CNTs on a 3-Dimension foam structure dramatically increases the surface area available to be functionalized and potentially enhancing mechanical and thermal performance characteristics. The initial thermal testing also suggested that CNTs does enhance thermal conductivity value.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 1, Nanotechnology 2013: Advanced Materials, CNTs, Particles, Films and Composites (Volume 1)
Published: May 12, 2013
Pages: 741 - 744
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topic: Advanced Materials for Engineering Applications
ISBN: 978-1-4822-0581-7