Carbon Nanotube Sheet-Synthesis and Applications

Nanomaterials (Basel). 2020 Oct 14;10(10):2023. doi: 10.3390/nano10102023.


Decades of extensive research have matured the development of carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Still, the properties of macroscale assemblages, such as sheets of carbon nanotubes, are not good enough to satisfy many applications. This paper gives an overview of different approaches to synthesize CNTs and then focuses on the floating catalyst method to form CNT sheets. A method is also described in this paper to modify the properties of macroscale carbon nanotube sheets produced by the floating catalyst method. The CNT sheet is modified to form a carbon nanotube hybrid (CNTH) sheet by incorporating metal, ceramic, or other types of nanoparticles into the high-temperature synthesis process to improve and customize the properties of the traditional nanotube sheet. This paper also discusses manufacturing obstacles and the possible commercial applications of the CNT sheet and CNTH sheet. Manufacturing problems include the difficulty of injecting dry nanoparticles uniformly, increasing the output of the process to reduce cost, and safely handling the hydrogen gas generated in the process. Applications for CNT sheet include air and water filtering, energy storage applications, and compositing CNTH sheets to produce apparel with anti-microbial properties to protect the population from infectious diseases. The paper also provides an outlook towards large scale commercialization of CNT material.

Keywords: carbon nanotube; gas-phase pyrolysis; hybrid sheet; nanoparticles.