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Nanomaterials (Basel). 2019 Nov 9;9(11). pii: E1590. doi: 10.3390/nano9111590.

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

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NIMBE, CEA, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay, CEA Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France.
NAWA Technologies, Chez STMicroelectronics, 190 avenue Célestin Coq, Cedex 13106 Rousset, France.
Laboratoire de Physicochimie des Polymères et des Interfaces (LPPI, EA 2528), Université de Cergy-Pontoise, Cedex 95031 Neuville-sur-Oise, France.
LSI, CEA/DRF/IRAMIS, École Polytechnique, CNRS, Institut Polytechnique de Paris, 91128 Palaiseau, France.


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/H2 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 µm/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 µm. 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.


Al foils; aerosol-assisted catalytic chemical vapour deposition; energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry; supercapacitors; vertically aligned carbon nanotubes

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