3 years ago

Synthesis of Highly Conductive, Uniformly Silver-Coated Carbon Nanofibers by Electroless Deposition

Synthesis of Highly Conductive, Uniformly Silver-Coated Carbon Nanofibers by Electroless Deposition
Daniel Therriault, Jolanta-Ewa Klemberg-Sapieha, Xavier Cauchy
Noble-metal-coated carbon-based nanoparticles, when used as electrically conductive fillers, have the potential to provide excellent conductivity without the high weight and cost normally associated with metals such as silver and gold. To this effect, many attempts were made to deposit uniform metallic layers on core nanoparticles with an emphasis on silver for its high conductivity. The results so far were disheartening with the metal morphology being better described as a decoration than a coating with small effects on the electrical conductivity of the bulk particles. We tackled in this work the specific problem of electroless deposition of silver on carbon nanofibers (CNFs) with the investigation of every step of the process. We performed X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), transmission and scanning electron microscopy (TEM, SEM), zeta potential, and electrical conductivity measurements to identify a repeatable, reliable set of parameters allowing for a uniform and fully connected silver deposition on the surface of the CNFs. The bulk particles’ specific electrical conductivity (conductivity per unit mass) undergoes a more than 10-fold increase during the deposition, reaching 2500 S·cm2/g, which indicates that the added metal mass participates efficiently to the conduction network. The particles keep their high aspect ratio through the process, which enables a percolated conduction network at very low volume loadings in a composite. No byproducts are produced during the reaction so the particles do not have to be sorted or purified and can be used as produced after the short ∼15 min reaction time. The particles might be an interesting replacement to conventional fillers in isotropic conductive adhesives, as a conductive network is obtained at a much lower loading. They might also serve as electrically conductive fillers in composites where a high conductivity is needed, such as lightning strike protection systems, or as high surface area silver electrodes.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.7b06526

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b06526

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