Synthesis of carbon nanostructures: science and applications to energy devices

G.D. Nessim
Bar Ilan University, IL

Keywords: carbon nanotubes carbon nanofibers batteries supercapacitors

Summary:

The synthesis of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), carbon nanofibers (CNFs), and graphene from catalyst on substrate using CVD has massively progressed in the past decade, especially the ability to control the nature of these structures on all length scales and in all aspects of their composition and morphology. Dense carpets of CNTs/CNFs are an ideal electrically-conductive scaffold for active electrode material. Graphene provides a massive surface area that can be functionalized. The focus of this presentation is to introduce the audience to the scientific aspects of the synthesis of carbon nanostructures, namely the roles of catalyst, underlayers, and gases using chemical vapour deposition. The synthesis of dense carpets of crystalline CNTs on insulating and metallic substrates, the self-delaminating growth of large mats of 3D CNFs, and the synthesis of few layers graphene on substrate will be discussed. Finally, the applications of these nanostructures to energy devices such as batteries and supercapacitors will be introduced. For instance, dense carpets of vertically aligned and millimeter-long CNTs form a mechanically stable and electrically conducting framework that can be functionalized to produce more efficient electrodes.