Oxygenated surface of carbon nanotube sponges: electroactivity and magnetic studies
Cortés López, Alejandro Javier
Muñoz Sandoval, Emilio
López Urías, Florentino
"We report the synthesis of nitrogen-doped carbon nanotube sponges (N-CNSs) by pyrolysis of solutions of benzylamine, ferrocene, thiophene, and isopropanol-based mixture at 1020 degrees C for 4 h using an aerosol-assisted chemical vapor deposition system. The precursors were transported through a quartz tube using a dynamic flow of H-2/Ar. We characterized the N-CNSs by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and thermogravimetric analysis. We found that isopropanol, isopropanol-ethanol, and isopropanol-acetone as precursors promote the formation of complex-entangled carbon fibers making knots and junctions. The N-CNSs displayed an outstanding oxygen concentration reaching a value of 9.2% for those synthesized with only isopropanol. We identified oxygen and nitrogen functional groups; in particular, the carbon fibers produced using only isopropanol exhibited a high concentration of ether groups (C-O bonds). This fact suggests the presence of phenols, carboxyl, methoxy, ethoxy, epoxy, and more complex functional groups. Usually, the functionalization of graphitic materials is carried out through aggressive acid treatments; here, we offer an alternative route to produce a superoxygenated surface. The understanding of the chemical surface of these novel materials represents a huge challenge and offers an opportunity to study complex oxygen functional groups different from the conventional quinone, carboxyl, phenols, carbonyl, methoxy, ethoxy, among others. The cyclic voltammetry measurements confirmed the importance of oxygen in N-CNSs, showing that with high oxygen concentration, the highest anodic and cathodic currents are displayed. N-CNSs displayed ferromagnetic behavior with an outstanding saturation magnetization. We envisage that our sponges are promising for anodes in lithium-ion batteries and magnetic sensor devices."
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society