International SAMPE Technical Conference 2007
Conference paper

Instantaneous electrodeposition of metal nanostructures on mass carbon nanotubes


Metallized carbon nanotubes (mCNTs) represent a next-generation nanomaterial for many advanced applications, such as fuel cells, sensors, nanoreinforced composites, electromagnetic interference shielding, and 3D nanostructure fabrications. Further explorations in these areas strongly demand significant improvements in mass-production techniques for mCNTs. Among existing techniques, physisorption involves separate preparation of metal nanoparticles prior to a time-consuming sonication for dispersion and attachment; while electroless deposition usually requires a lengthy CNT pretreatment consisted of harsh acid oxidation and activationsensitization procedures. Electrochemical deposition would be preferable due to its manageability and reproducibility, yet it remains exceptionally challenging to make reliable electrical contact with bulk CNTs. Previous efforts include in-situ CNT growth on a conducting substrate, microlithography, electrophoresis, and sputtering. Here we demonstrate that, mass CNTs filter-anchored on a unique silver membrane can be electroplated promptly, resulting in exquisite metal nanostructures, varying from discrete atom clusters to uniform coatings, on CNT surfaces.