Thin films and electrodes from single-walled carbon nanotube aqueous colloidal dispersions
Master of Science
We report the fabrication of SWNT based transparent conductive thin films and fuel cell electrodes using aqueous colloidal dispersions of SWNTs. SWNTs were dispersed in water at high concentrations with the help of surfactants. Five different surfactants were studied, for their capacity to disperse SWNTs in water and their effect on the viscoelastic and rheological properties of the dispersion. These findings were utilized to formulate SWNT colloidal dispersions which can be used in common industrial processes to make macroscopic materials. A SWNT dispersion involving a combination of two different surfactants was formulated for use as a coating ink. This SWNT ink was coated using the rod coating method to fabricate transparent conductive thin films. An aqueous dispersion using catalyzed-SWNTs was prepared and used as a fluid in spray painting process to make fuel cell electrodes. These SWNT electrodes were able to perform almost at par with the conventional carbon black electrodes while using much lower amount of expensive Platinum catalyst.
Chemical engineering; Physics; Applied sciences; Pure sciences