The synthesis and applications of thin nanoporous carbon films or membranes (NPCFs) are outlined with a focus on recent literature examples. NPCFs have large specific surface area, high electrical and thermal conductivity and both chemical and mechanical stability properties that facilitate increasing conventional uses in purification and separation, adsorption, and catalysis. They have potential applications in nanodevices, supercapacitors, lithium ion batteries, and chemical and bio-sensors. We summarize the various NPCF fabrication techniques, including solid- or soft-templating, direct pyrolysis on porous organic polymer precursors, chemical or physical vapor deposition and electrochemical deposition, and highlight the future design trends in the fabrication of NPCFs with ordered nanopore structures.
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