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Tailoring Carbon Nanomaterials for Emerging Applications

Chen, Yuan; School of Chemical and Bimolecular Engineering, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Carbon nanomaterials have many extraordinary properties, which depend on their unique nanoscale structures. There are two major challenges in realizing their potential applications. First, it is difficult to produce carbon nanomaterials with precisely controlled nanoscale structures in large quantity. Second, carbon nanomaterials often lose their desired properties observed in nanoscale when used as the building block of macroscopic systems. This talk covers our research efforts on addressing these two challenges in three areas. First, several sulfur doped cobalt catalysts were developed to grow semiconducting (9,8) single walled carbon nanotubes with good production scalability. We found sulfur affects the nucleation and catalytic activity of metal catalyst particles. The impacts of sulfur in single walled carbon nanotube synthesis can be controlled to modulate chirality selectivity and carbon yield.1-4 Second, we used capillary columns and space-confined channels as hydrothermal reactors to assemble graphene oxide sheets and carbon nanotubes into unique multiscale hierarchical structured hybrid fibers, which shows high volumetric capacitance. The hybrid carbon fibers were used to construct fiber supercapacitors. These devices can cover a wide range of energy and power needs, and they demonstrate good potentials as energy storage solutions for wearable and implantable devices.5-8 Third, graphene oxide sheets were used to modulate properties of polymeric hollow fiber membranes for water treatment. Further, versatile carbon architectures were designed by intercalating surfacefunctionalized, small-diameter, multi-walled carbon nanotubes into reduced graphene oxide sheets to create highly stable membranes with engineered nanochannels, demonstrating improved water permeability and enhanced membrane selectivity.9-10

[1] ACS Nano, 2013, 7, 614–626

[2] Journal of Catalysis, 2013, 300, 91–101

[3] Chemical Communications, 2013, 49, 2031 – 2033

[4] Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2015, 3, 3310–3319

[5] Nature Nanotechnology, 2014, 9, 555–562

[6] Chemical Society Reviews, 2015, 44, 647–662

[7] Energy & Environmental Science, 2016, 9, 611-622

[8] Journal of Membrane Science, 2015, 474, 244-253

[9] Advanced Functional Materials, 2015, 25, 7348-7359

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