Carbon nanotubes (CNT) represent one of the most unique materials in the field of nanotechnology. CNT are the allotrope of carbon having sp2 hybridization. CNT are considered to be rolled-up graphene with a nanostructure that can have a length to diameter ratio greater than 1,000,000. CNT can be single-, double-, and multi-walled. CNT have unique mechanical, electrical, and optical properties, all of which have been extensively studied. The novel properties of CNT are their light weight, small size with a high aspect ratio, good tensile strength, and good conducting characteristics, which make them useful for various applications. The present review is focused on the structure, properties, toxicity, synthesis methods, growth mechanism and their applications. Techniques that have been developed to synthesize CNT in sizeable quantities, including arc discharge, laser ablation, chemical vapor deposition, etc., have been explained. The toxic effect of CNT is also presented in a summarized form. Recent CNT applications showing a very promising glimpse into the future of CNT in nanotechnology such as optics, electronics, sensing, mechanical, electrical, storage, and other fields of materials science are presented in the review.
Interfacial adhesion between carbon fiber and epoxy resin mostly determine the mechanical properties of the carbon fiber/ epoxy composites and the chemical structures of epoxy resin and hardener plays an important role. In this regard, stereoisomerism of epoxy hardeners, such as 3,3′ and 4,4′-DDS (diaminodiphenylsulfone), can have significant influence on the fracture toughness of the cured epoxy and related carbon fiber composites. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the influence of stereoisomerism of epoxy hardeners on fracture toughness of the carbon fiber/epoxy composites. Triglycidyl aminophenol (TGAP) are selected as epoxy resin and 3,3′- and 4,4′-DDS are selected as epoxy hardener. Wetting behaviors and fiber matrix adhesion of TGAP/DDS mixtures onto carbon fiber are investigated and fracture toughness (KIC) of TGAP/ DDS mixtures are also investigated. Then, the mode II fracture toughness test of the carbon fiber/TGAP/DDS composites are carried out to investigate the influence of hardener stereoisomerism on fracture toughness of the resulting composites. Wetting and fiber matrix adhesion to carbon fiber of TGAP/3,3′-DDS was better than those of TGAP/4,4’-DDS and KIC of TGAP/3,3′-DDS was also better than that of TGAP/4,4′-DDS. As a result of the synergistic effect of better wetting, fiber matrix adhesion, and fracture toughness of TGAP/3,3′-DDS, the mode II fracture toughness of the carbon fiber/ TGAP/3,3’- DDS composites was almost twice of that of the carbon fiber/ TGAP/4,4′-DDS composites. Based on the results reported in this study, stereoisomerism of the epoxy hardeners can influence the fracture toughness of the resulting composites as well as that of the resin itself. In other words, only small difference, such as the spatial arrangement of the molecular structure of epoxy hardeners can cause huge difference in the mechanical properties of the resulting composites.
The present work introduces a new method for the recycling of waste flocculation sludge to prepare electrode materials for supercapacitor. Hazardous azo dye was removal from textile dying wastewater by a new chitosan-based flocculant, and the generated dye sludge flocs was used as a nitrogen-containing precursor for the fabrication of N-doped carbon materials. The influence of azo dye on specific surface areas, nitrogen content, pore evolution of the resulting products and their electrochemical performance were investigated in detail. The results demonstrated a dual role of azo dye worked as both a nitrogen resource and pore-forming agent. The resulting N-doped carbon nanosheets derived from azo dye flocs demonstrated high electrochemical capacitance and good stability for supercapacitor electrode, which is attributed to the unique nitrogen doping, higher specific surface area and efficient charge transfer ability.
Mechanically enhanced supramolecular carbon nanotube (CNT) films were prepared in water by employing the π-electronrich phenyl, naphthalenyl, and pyrenyl end-functionalized polyethylene oxides (PEOs) as supramolecular linkers, followed by vacuum filtration. Among them, the supramolecular CNT film produced by the pyrenyl end-functionalized PEO (PEOPy) exhibited the highest mechanical strength, which was ~ 1.5–2 times higher than that of the CNT films produced using the typical dispersant, Triton X-100, although the functionality of PEO-Py was lower than that prepared using other linkers, and the content of PEO-Py in the CNT films was lower than that obtained using Triton X-100. Fluorescence and UV–Vis spectroscopy demonstrated that the improved mechanical properties of the supramolecular CNT film result from the formation of π–π interactions between the CNT and the pyrene moieties of the PEO-Py linker. Finally, the supramolecular CNT film exhibited a 40–50 dB electromagnetic shielding efficiency through hybridization with silver nanowires.
Amine-functionalized graphene was synthesized via a one-step solvothermal method and used as a metal-free cathode for non-aqueous lithium–oxygen batteries. The material delivered an outstanding specific capacity of 19,789 mAh/g at a current density of 200 mA/g as well as better cycling stability than graphene without the amine functional group. This improvement was attributed to the electron-donating effect of the amine groups and appropriate mesopore volume, which can promote the penetration of oxygen, electrons, and lithium ions, as well as accommodate more discharge products, Li2O2 in Li–O2 batteries. Amine-functionalized graphene has an amine functional group on the carbon surface, which improves the electrical conductivity of carbon and provides electrochemical active sites for oxygen absorption reactions.
This study demonstrates that low processing rate for producing polyacrylonitrile (PAN)-based carbon fiber is a critical to obtain a homogeneous radial microstructure with high resistance to oxidation, thereby resulting in their improved mechanical strength. The dry-jet wet spun PAN organic fibers were processed (e.g., stabilized and then carbonized) utilizing two different rates; one is 1.6 times longer than the other. The effect of processing rate on the microstructural evolutions of carbon fibers was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy after slow etching in air, as well as Raman mapping after graphitization. The rapidly processed fiber exhibited the multilayered radial structure, which is caused by the radial direction stretching of the extrusion in the spinning. In case of the slowly processed fiber, the layered radial structure formed in the spinning process was changed into a more homogeneous radial microstructure. The slowly processed fibers showed higher oxidation resistance, higher mechanical properties, and higher crystallinity than the rapidly processed one. Raman mapping confirmed that the microstructure developed during spinning was sustained even though fiber was thermally treated up to 2800 °C.
Boron-doped amorphous carbon (BDAC) thin films with a regular oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalytic activity were synthesized in a hot filament chemical vapor deposition device using a mixture of CH4 and H2 as a gas source and B2O3 as a boron source and then oxidized in air at 380–470 °C for 15–75 min. Scanning electron microscope, transmission electron microscope, Raman spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and electrochemical tests were used to characterize the physical and electrochemical properties of the BDAC catalysts. It was concluded that the BDAC catalyst oxidized at 450 °C for 45 min showed the best ORR catalytic activity in alkaline medium. The oxygen reduction potential and the transfer electron number n, respectively, are − 0.286 V versus Ag/AgCl and 3.24 from the rotating disk electrode experiments. The treated carbon film has better methanol resistance and stability than the commercial Pt/C catalyst.
Commercial ultra-high-strength PAN-based carbon fibers (T1000G) were heat-treated at the temperature range of 2300– 2600 °C under a constant stretching of 600 cN. After continuous high-temperature graphitization treatment, microstructures, mechanical properties and thermal stability of the carbon fibers were investigated. The results show that the T1000G carbon fibers present the similar round shape with a smooth surface before and after graphitization, indicating the carbon fibers are fabricated by dry–wet spinning. In comparison, the commercial high-strength and high-modulus PAN-based carbon fibers (M40JB and M55JB) present elliptical shapes with ridges and grooves on the surface, indicating the carbon fibers are fabricated by wet spinning. After graphitization treatment from 2300 to 2600 °C under a constant stretching of 600 cN, the Young’s modulus of the T1000G carbon fibers increases from about 436 to 484 GPa, and their tensile strength decreases from about 5.26 to 4.45 GPa. The increase in Young’s modulus of the graphitized T1000G carbon fibers is attributed to the increase in the crystallite sizes and the preferred orientation of graphite crystallites along the fiber longitudinal direction under a constant stretching condition. In comparison with the M40JB and the M55JB carbon fibers, the graphitized T1000G carbon fibers are easier to be oxidized, which can be contributed to the formation of more micropores and defects during the graphitization process, thus leading to the decrease in the tensile strength.
Isotropic pitch-based carbon fiber was successfully prepared from tetrahydrofuran-soluble fraction of coal tar pitch cocarbonization with petrolatum by air-blowing. The effects of reaction temperature and time, amount of petrolatum added on the composition and spinning properties of resultant pitches were investigated. It indicated that petrolatum could effectively improve the softening point, aromaticity, hydrogen content and molecular weight of the resultant pitches by promoting cross-linking and dehydrogenation polymerization reactions at low air-blowing temperature. Moreover, more aliphatic and naphthenic structures had been introduced into resultant pitches as addition of petrolatum and also inhibited the generation of quinoline-insoluble particles. The obtained green fibers were facile to be stabilized and carbonized and the resultant carbon fibers showed fully isotropic and finer, uniform diameter with smooth surface and higher tensile strength of up to 0.92 GPa. It provided a facile chemical modification method for isotropic pitch-based carbon fiber production.
Hybrid graphene/h-BN model is studied via molecular dynamics simulation to observe the evolution of graphene layer upon heating. Model containing 20,064 atoms is heated up from 50 to 8000 K via Tersoff and Lennard–Jones potentials. Various thermodynamic quantities, structural characteristics, and the occurrence of liquid-like atoms are studied. The Lindemann criterion for 2D case is calculated and used to observe the appearance of liquid-like atoms. The atomic mechanism of structural evolution upon heating is analyzed on the basis of the occurrence/growth of liquid-like atoms, the formation of clusters, the coordination number, and the ring statistics. The liquid-like atoms tend to form clusters and the largest cluster increases slightly in order to form a single largest cluster of liquid-like atoms. The other models such as free-standing graphene, zigzag GNR, and armchair GNR are also presented to have an entire picture about the evolution of graphene upon heating in different models. Note that the largest clusters of free-standing graphene as well as zigzag GNR, and armchair GNR tend to decrease to form a ring-like 2D liquid carbon.
After flame-retardant treatment by the two different agents, the thermal behaviors of Lyocell fibers are discussed. In this research, H3PO4 and NaCl reduced the degradation rate and increased the char yield of the Lyocell fibers, and also increased the limiting oxygen index with the char yield increased. After treatment, the integral procedure decomposition temperature and the activation energy of Lyocell fibers are significantly increased by various concentration factors. These phenomena were indicated by the dehydration, rearrangement, formation of carbonyl groups, the evolution of carbon monoxide and dioxide, and carbonaceous residue formation. These effects were indicating the slow pathway of flame retardancy for the Lyocell fibers and are attributed to the two different flame-retardant agent treatments.
Cross model correlates the dynamic complex viscosity of polymer systems to zero complex viscosity, relaxation time and power-law index. However, this model disregards the growth of complex viscosity in nanocomposites containing filler networks, especially at low frequencies. The current paper develops the Cross model for complex viscosity of nanocomposites by yield stress as a function of the strength and density of networks. The predictions of the developed model are compared to the experimental results of fabricated samples containing poly(lactic acid), poly(ethylene oxide) and carbon nanotubes. The model’s parameters are calculated for the prepared samples, and their variations are explained. Additionally, the significances of all parameters on the complex viscosity are justified to approve the developed model. The developed model successfully estimates the complex viscosity, and the model’s parameters reasonably change for the samples. The stress at transition region between Newtonian and power-law behavior and the power-law index directly affects the complex viscosity. Moreover, the strength and density of networks positively control the yield stress and the complex viscosity of nanocomposites. The developed model can help to optimize the parameters controlling the complex viscosity in polymer nanocomposites.