Coated Carbon Nanotubes and Carbon Fibers: Synthesis and Applications
Jafry, Huma Rahim
Barron, Andrew R.
Doctor of Philosophy
Carbon nanotubes have been of great interest given their unique electronic and mechanical properties. Scholars have focused on the addition of carbon nanotubes to various matrices in order to develop novel materials. These new hybrid materials would combine the properties of both the nanotubes and the matrix of choice, which can both enhance the mechanical and electronic properties of the matrix material, and allow for the matrix to be used for other applications. In order to take advantage of the properties of the nanotubes, it is vital for them to be well dispersed in a solution or matrix as individual tubes, rather than as bundles. Additionally, it is cost effective to have individually dispersed tubes in a matrix. In order to individually disperse the tubes in the matrix, they can be pre-treated or functionalized via both covalent and non covalent processes. Subsequent to functionalization, the nanotubes can be coated with the matrix material or other metal compounds. This can help with the dispersion and interface interaction with the matrix material, or create materials with novel properties. This thesis focuses on conditions of growing various metal compounds or metal oxides on nanotubes using chemical bath deposition (CBD) and liquid phase deposition (LPD) methods. CBD and LPD use aqueous mediums for growth and deposition of compounds, which makes it both environmentally friendly and cost effective. Different pre-treatments are first employed on the nanotubes in order for them to be both well dispersed in solution and provide nucleation sites for the deposition and growth of various metal and metal oxides on the surface of the nanotubes. Once an ideal deposition is achieved, applications of the coated tubes are studied, tested and discussed.