Nanotech 2011

Carbon Nanotube Arrays with Tunable Wettability and Their Applications

A. Indrat Aria
California Institute of Technology, US

Keywords: carbon nanotube, superhydrophobic, superhydrophilic, drag reduction, double layer capacitor


A combination of UV/ozone treatment and vacuum-pyrolysis process that can be used for fine tuning the wetting properties of the CNTs is introduced. In contrast to the widely known wet-chemical methods the UV/ozone treatment is efficient, fast and does not use corrosive and dangerous chemicals, making the process more convenient and can be easily scaled up to industrial level. These superhydrophilic CNTs have a very high affinity to water such that they can be dispersed easily in aqueous solution and can be utilized as high performance electrochemical double layer capacitors. The vacuum-pyrolysis process, which typically performed at a moderate vacuum and temperature, can also be easily scaled up to industrial level since it does not involve complicated multi-step lithography and plasma treatment processes. All superhydrophobic CNTs exhibit extreme water repellent capability such that they have an extremely high static contact angle of 170° and a very low roll-off angle of 3°, which can be used for reducing hydrodynamic skin friction drag in water.

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