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Single-Step Synthesis of Vertically Aligned Carbon Nanotube Forest on Aluminium Foils

Abstract : Vertically aligned carbon nanotube (VACNT) forests are promising for supercapacitor electrodes, but their industrialisation requires a large-scale cost-effective synthesis process suitable to commercial aluminium (Al) foils, namely by operating at a low temperature (<660°C). We show that Aerosol-Assisted Catalytic Chemical Vapour Deposition (CCVD), a single-step roll-to-roll compatible process, can be optimised to meet this industrial requirement. With ferrocene as a catalyst precursor, acetylene as a carbon source and Ar/H$_2$ as a carrier gas, clean and dense forests of VACNTs of about 10 nm in diameter are obtained at 615°C with a growth rate up to 5 $\mu$m/min. Such novel potentiality of this one-step CCVD process is at the state-of-the-art of the multi-step assisted CCVD processes. To produce thick samples, long synthesis durations are required, but growth saturation occurs that is not associated with a diffusion phenomenon of iron in aluminium substrate. Sequential syntheses show that the saturation trend fits a model of catalytic nanoparticle deactivation that can be limited by decreasing acetylene flow, thus obtaining sample thickness up to 200 $\mu$m. Cyclic voltammetry measurements on binder-free VACNT/Al electrodes show that the CNT surface is fully accessible to the ionic liquid electrolyte, even in these dense VACNT forests.
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Fabien Nassoy, Mathieu Pinault, Jeremie Descarpentries, Thomas Vignal, Philippe Banet, et al.. Single-Step Synthesis of Vertically Aligned Carbon Nanotube Forest on Aluminium Foils. Nanomaterials, MDPI, 2019, 9 (11), pp.1590. ⟨10.3390/nano9111590⟩. ⟨cea-02358666⟩

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