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Title: Novel synthesis methods of carbon-nanotube-based composite materials
Author: McCafferty, Liam
ISNI:       0000 0004 5348 4248
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis reports novel methods for carbon nanotube synthesis, purification and decoration, which have been designed to be facile processes, with high potential for scale-up manufacture. The synthesis routes outlined compares with methodologies highlighted in the recent literature, with respect to the quality of materials produced, and ease of sample preparation with reduced processing steps. Decoration of carbon nanotubes with magnetic iron nanoparticles has been achieved using a novel synthesis route with cyclopentadienyl iron dicarbonyl dimer as a precursor to the nanoparticle formation. The thermal decomposition protocol for the material is key to the beneficial properties of the final carbon nanotube hybrid material being realised. Decomposition forms iron nanoparticles that have shown catalytic activity and absorb carbon (also provided by the compound) which is subsequently exuded as a protective graphitic shell. A wide range of synthesis temperatures have been studied, 250°C to 1200°C, and led to varying degrees of graphitization, analysis of the protective abilities of the shell to the "core" nanoparticles has been studied. Resistance to acid dissolution has been shown and a potential application for removal of organic materials (rhodamine dye) from water has also been demonstrated. The synthesis of single and few-walled carbon nanotubes of very high quality has also been shown, using the organometallic compound used to decorate CNTs, the first time this has been demonstrated for this compound. Synthesis has been carried out on silicon and quartz substrates in a photo-thermal chemical vapour deposition (PT-CVD) chamber, with minimal sample preparation required. The quality of the CNTs produced has been assessed by Raman Spectroscopy (ID/IG ratio) showing extremely high CNT quality, some of the highest reported using a CVD based technique. The defect concentration has been shown to be lower than some commercially available products. Simplification of the sample preparation required for carbon nanotube synthesis has been achieved; the compound and method used in this study has the potential for scale-up manufacture and to be a competitive high quality carbon nanotube product.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available