An elegant method for large scale synthesis of metal oxide–carbon nanotube nanohybrids for nano-environmental application and implication studies
Nanohybrids (NHs) with synergistic and emergent properties are used as electrocatalysts, photocatalysts, and antimicrobial agents in numerous applications. Carbon nanotube (CNT)–metal oxide NHs are one of the most commercialized heterostructures because of their advantages as catalyst supports in the fuel cell industry. To date, there has been little understanding of their environmental behavior, primarily due to the lack of a robust yet facile synthesis technique. This study presents an elegant synthesis method, which varies the reagent composition and ratio to grow metal oxides of choice onto multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWNT) surfaces. This technique can synthesize heterostructures with elements ranging from transition (Ti and Zn) to lanthanide series (Er and Pr) metals. This modified sol–gel method can provide large material yields (100s of mg) with a high degree of overall homogeneity between synthesized batches. Such a method for preparing complex NHs from component materials can be extremely useful to perform systematic environmental analyses.