479591 Electrochemical Etching of Metallic Substrates for Carbon Nanotube Growth

Monday, November 14, 2016
Grand Ballroom B (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Montgomery Baker-Fales, Haider Almkhelfe, Xu Li and Placidus B. Amama, Department of Chemical Engineering, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have unique properties that make them intriguing materials for application in energy storage and thermal management. For practical application, CNT carpets must be supported on highly conductive substrates. Traditionally, growth of high-quality CNT carpets, via chemical vapor deposition (CVD), occurs on insulators such as SiO2 or AlxOy, prohibiting use in practical applications. The challenge of growing CNTs on metallic substrates is hypothesized to be due to the unfavorable substrate-catalyst interactions. The high surface energies of metallic substrates affect the restructuring of the catalyst during annealing, while thin AlxOy barrier layers provide a low-energy surface from which the catalyst can dewet to form the nanoparticle morphology prerequisite to CNT nucleation. To overcome this challenge, surface modification of metallic substrates via an electrochemical etching process is explored. Inactive stainless steel substrates are transformed to active catalytic substrates by anodic oxidation of the substrate in acidic electrolyte to remove surface oxide films while changing the surface morphology.

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