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Issue 4, 2014
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Nanoporous Cu–C composites based on carbon-nanotube aerogels

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Current synthesis methods of nanoporous Cu–C composites offer limited control of the material composition, structure, and properties, particularly for large Cu loadings of ≳20 wt%. Here, we describe two related approaches to realize novel nanoporous Cu–C composites based on the templating of recently developed carbon-nanotube aerogels (CNT-CAs). Our first approach involves the trapping of Cu nanoparticles while CNT-CAs undergo gelation. This method yields nanofoams with relatively high densities of ≳65 mg cm−3 for Cu loadings of ≳10 wt%. Our second approach overcomes this limitation by filling the pores of undoped CNT-CA monoliths with an aqueous solution of CuSO4 followed by (i) freeze-drying to remove water and (ii) thermal decomposition of CuSO4. With this approach, we demonstrate Cu–C composites with a C matrix density of ∼25 mg cm−3 and Cu loadings of up to 70 wt%. These versatile methods could be extended to fabricate other nanoporous metal–carbon composite materials geared for specific applications.

Graphical abstract: Nanoporous Cu–C composites based on carbon-nanotube aerogels

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Publication details

The article was received on 24 Oct 2013, accepted on 22 Nov 2013 and first published on 22 Nov 2013

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3TA14303A
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2014,2, 962-967

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    Nanoporous Cu–C composites based on carbon-nanotube aerogels

    S. Charnvanichborikarn, S. J. Shin, M. A. Worsley, I. C. Tran, T. M. Willey, T. van Buuren, T. E. Felter, J. D. Colvin and S. O. Kucheyev, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2014, 2, 962
    DOI: 10.1039/C3TA14303A

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