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Talk about the past and present life of carbon nanotubes and graphene

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Author : TRUNNANO
Update time : 2021-01-07 10:02:06
Are carbon nanotubes graphene?

Both graphene and carbon nanotubes are made of carbon atoms. Graphene is a single-layer graphite sheet, which is the most basic structural unit that constitutes graphite; while carbon nanotubes are formed by curling graphene. Carbon nanotubes are mainly composed of carbon atoms arranged in hexagons to form coaxial circular tubes with several tens of layers. Carbon nanotubes can be seen as graphene sheets (a hexagonal lattice of carbon) rolled into a cylinder. Both graphene and carbon nanotubes have extraordinary mechanical and electronic properties and are usually very similar.
 
At present, the research on carbon nanotubes has reached a certain depth and breadth in terms of preparation technology, performance characterization and application exploration. The close connection in composition and structure makes the two have many similarities in research methods. In fact, many types of research on graphene were originally inspired by research on carbon nanotubes.
 

What is the difference between carbon nanotubes and graphene?

Graphene is a two-dimensional material, basically, a layer of graphite, with carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal honeycomb lattice. Carbon nanotubes are hollow cylindrical structures, basically, a layer of graphene rolled into a cylinder. As a representative of one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterials, the two are complementary in structure and performance.
 
From a structural point of view, carbon nanotubes are a one-dimensional crystal structure of carbon; while graphene is composed of only a single carbon atom layer, which is a true two-dimensional crystal structure.
 
From a performance point of view, graphene has comparable or superior properties to carbon nanotubes, such as high electrical and thermal conductivity, high carrier mobility, free-electron movement space, high strength and rigidity.
 
According to the number of layers, they can be divided into single-walled carbon nanotubes and multi-walled carbon nanotubes; graphene is a two-dimensional crystal composed of carbon atoms that are exfoliated from graphite materials and are composed of carbon atoms. It is also divided into single-walled carbon nanotubes. Layer graphene and graphene microplatelets (multilayer structure).

 
 
 
Is graphene stronger than carbon nanotubes?

In essence, both carbon nanotubes and graphene are graphite materials, but the arrangement and combination of carbon atoms are different, forming spiral carbon nanotubes and sheet-shaped graphene, so they both have some of the same characteristics of graphite.
In the long run, graphene is far superior to carbon nanotubes or any other known nanofillers in transferring its extraordinary strength and mechanical properties to the host material. Although carbon nanotubes have achieved corresponding results in the current research, in the long run, the wide application and unique two-dimensional structure of graphene seem to have more advantages in becoming a "next-generation semiconductor material".
 
Although graphene and carbon nanotubes have a similar pre-existence, they are likely to have a different future. There are many reasons, but ultimately it can be attributed to the dispute between one-dimensional materials and two-dimensional materials. Nanowires and nanotubes are often at a disadvantage in the competition with thin-film materials. Take carbon nanotubes as an example. A single carbon nanotube can be regarded as a single crystal with a high aspect ratio. However, the current synthesis and assembly technology cannot obtain carbon nanotube crystals with macroscopic dimensions, thus limiting the carbon Application of nanotubes. The advantage of graphene is that it is a two-dimensional crystal structure with several record-breaking properties (strength, electrical conductivity, heat conduction), and can achieve continuous growth in a large area. The combination of bottom-up and top-down has bright future application prospects.
 
How is graphene converted into carbon nanotubes?

To form carbon nanotubes, the basic forms of carbon and graphene are manipulated to form a thin plate rolled into a cylinder. Since graphene is only one atom thick, the graphene sheets used to make nanotubes are two-dimensional, which gives nanotubes some special properties.
 
New graphene-carbon nanotube catalyst can trigger a clean energy revolution
 
Researchers have developed promising graphene-carbon nanotube catalysts so that they can better control the extremely important chemical reactions that produce hydrogen fuel.
 
Cheap and efficient fuel cells and water electrolyzers will become the cornerstones of hydrogen fuel economy, which is one of the most promising clean and sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels. These devices rely on materials called electrocatalysts to work, so the development of efficient and low-cost catalysts is critical to making hydrogen fuel a viable alternative. Researchers at Aalto University have developed a new type of catalyst material to improve these technologies.
 
The team worked with CNRS to produce a highly porous graphene-carbon nanotube hybrid with single atoms of other elements known to make good catalysts. Graphene and carbon nanotubes (CNT) are one-atom-thick two-dimensional and one-dimensional allotropes of carbon, respectively. Compared with traditional materials, graphene and carbon nanotubes are popular in academia and industry due to their outstanding performance. The world has aroused great interest. They developed a simple and scalable method to grow these nanomaterials simultaneously and combine their properties in one product.
 
The catalyst is usually deposited on the underlying substrate. Researchers usually ignore the role of the substrate in the final reactivity of the catalyst, but for this new type of catalyst, researchers have found that the substrate plays an important role in its efficiency. The research team found that the porous structure of the material can access more active catalyst sites formed at the interface with the substrate. Therefore, they developed a new electrochemical microscope analysis method to measure how the interface contributes to the catalytic reaction And produce the most effective catalyst. They hope that their research on the influence of the matrix on the catalytic activity of porous materials will lay the foundation for the rational design of high-performance electrodes for electrochemical energy devices and provide guidance for future research.

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