Carbon Nanotube Paper
High content carbon nanotubes mats have been produced to a range of thicknesses and diameters by covalent bonded cross-linking of thiolated multi-walled carbon nanotubes. The Michael addition pathway was used to cross-link benzoquinone to thiol groups attached to the surface of the nanotubes. The mats were characterized by a variety of techniques including X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, tensile strength as well as qualitative structural analysis by scanning electron microscopy. It was found that the optimum ratio by weight for cross-linking benzoquinone to thiolated carbon nanotubes was ca. 5:1. This work provided a simple route to the production of mats without high pressure processing or irradiation techniques generally used to produce Buckypaper which can require pressure control chambers, argon and hydrogen ion beams and high temperatures. The mat surface can be further functionalized with nanoparticles to form advanced carbon composite materials.
This project is based on the construction and operation of a cross-linked aminated multi-walled carbon nanotube paper as a hydrogen sensor. The incorporation of palladium onto the surface of the paper resulted in p-type conduction as the resistance of the paper was measured, under exposure to hydrogen gas. When palladium nanocrystals were embedded into the cross-linked paper, n-type conduction was observed during hydrogen sensing. This investigation highlights the next stage in the development of functional nanotube paper.
3D printing is a revolutionary technology for the consumer and industrial markets. As the technology for 3D printing has expanded, the need for multi-materials that support fused deposition modeling and other forms of additive manufacturing are increasing. 3D printing filaments infused with carbon nanotubes and graphene are now commercially available, with the promise of producing conductive composites. My work involves the use of these nanomaterials for the production of novel 3D printing filaments and resins.