Low temperature and cost-effective growth of vertically aligned carbon nanofibers using spin-coated polymer-stabilized palladium nanocatalysts

Research paper pub­lished in Sci­ence and Tech­nol­o­gy of Advanced Mate­ri­als, 2015, Vol­ume 16, Issue 1.

One-dimen­sion­al car­bon nanos­truc­tures have been known and fab­ri­cat­ed for more than a hun­dred years and were orig­i­nal­ly rWe describe a fast and cost-effec­tive process for the growth of car­bon nanofibers (CNFs) at a tem­per­a­ture com­pat­i­ble with com­ple­men­tary met­al oxide semi­con­duc­tor tech­nol­o­gy, using high­ly sta­ble polymer–Pd nanohy­brid col­loidal solu­tions of pal­la­di­um cat­a­lyst nanopar­ti­cles (NPs). Two polymer–Pd nanohy­brids, name­ly poly(lauryl methacrylate)-block-poly((2‑acetoacetoxy)ethyl methacrylate)/Pd (Lau­MAx-b-AEMAy/Pd) and polyvinylpyrrolidone/​Pd were pre­pared in organ­ic sol­vents and spin-coat­ed onto sil­i­con sub­strates. Sub­se­quent­ly, ver­ti­cal­ly aligned CNFs were grown on these NPs by plas­ma enhanced chem­i­cal vapor depo­si­tion at dif­fer­ent tem­per­a­tures. The elec­tri­cal prop­er­ties of the grown CNFs were eval­u­at­ed using an elec­tro­chem­i­cal method, com­mon­ly used for the char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of super­ca­pac­i­tors. The results show that the polymer–Pd nanohy­brid solu­tions offer the opti­mum size range of pal­la­di­um cat­a­lyst NPs enabling the growth of CNFs at tem­per­a­tures as low as 350 °C. Fur­ther­more, the CNFs grown at such a low tem­per­a­ture are ver­ti­cal­ly aligned sim­i­lar to the CNFs grown at 550 °C. Final­ly the capac­i­tive behav­ior of these CNFs was sim­i­lar to that of the CNFs grown at high tem­per­a­ture assur­ing the same elec­tri­cal prop­er­ties thus enabling their usage in dif­fer­ent appli­ca­tions such as on-chip capac­i­tors, inter­con­nects, ther­mal heat sink and ener­gy stor­age solutions.

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