Carbon Nanofibers

My research in carbon nanomaterials is primarily aimed at optimizing carbon deposition rate in order to scale production. Deposition is accomplished through the decomposition of ethylene over palladium, nickel, cobalt, iron, etc. The carbon is deposited in the form of thin films or nanoscale fibers. The catalyst characteristics, temperature, gas composition, and other factors will dictate the result. The process to create bulk parts is remarkably simple, and there is no fundamental limit to the scale.

While improving deposition rate is key, controlling the size, morphology and crystallinity of the fibers is also important. By engineering the catalyst composition and microstructure, it is possible that higher selectivity can be achieved while simultaneously enhancing the activity.

An additional area of interest is understanding the bulk phenomena involved in space-filling with these nanostructures. There is little work done on bulk formation and entanglement of carbon nanofibers, so establishing the behavior of partially confined fiber growth is a key focus of the research. Below is an example of carbon nanofibers grown through catalytic deposition.

Related publications are listed below (for full list, see Publications).

This work is supported through the Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) Division of NSF (Award # 1436444).

Carbon Nanofiber Publications: