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Carbon Nanotubes Grown on Various Fibers

ORNL researchers invented a method for growing carbon nanotubes on the surfaces of various fiber materials, including quartz, carbon, and activated carbon fibers.

These materials may have significant applicability for a variety of advanced fiber composites and products, such as aviation structural materials and military armor. The materials could also contribute to carbon fiber–reinforced materials used in energy, environmental, and protection system applications.

The ORNL method employs metal salt solutions and metal catalyst species to form a base for carbon nanotube growth. The nanotubes are then separated by using concentrated acids to oxidize the support media and metal catalyst.

In each case, a chloride solution of iron, aluminum, and nickel is used to coat the various fibers prior to exposing them to 600 degrees Celsius in flowing argon- hydrogen with an ethanol vapor feedstock. This process promotes chemical vapor deposition growth of carbon nanotubes.

Materials Science and Technology Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Technology Commercialization Manager, Materials Science
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Phone: 865.576.9682
Material Sciences
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