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Conductivity of Graphene-Like Thin Films Prepared from Chemically Exfoliated Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs), Highly Oriented Pyrolytic Graphite (HOPG), Natural Flake Graphite, and Carbon Powder

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 October 2012

Matthew M. Marchese
Affiliation:
School of ME, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, U.S.A.
Rosario A. Gerhardt*
Affiliation:
School of MSE, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, U.S.A.
*
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Abstract

The use of super acids such as chlorosulfonic acid (CSA) has proven to be extremely effective at exfoliating different forms of graphite in high concentrations without covalently functionalizing the surface of the graphene. Once quenched, the acid solutions can then be vacuum filtered through acid resistant polypropylene filter paper with an average pore size of 0.2 μm to collect the exfoliated carbon into a free standing retentate film. These films can then be easily washed, removed, and redispersed into solution by sonicating the films in a surfactant solution. Films were deposited onto various substrates using a range of spin coating parameters. This study has found that exfoliated CNTs provide the best conductivity out of the four types of chemically exfoliated carbon structures studied. CNTs have also proven to be the easiest type of exfoliated carbon to disperse and are able to stay in solution with less than 1%wt surfactant. The findings have shown that the electrical conductivity of the spin coated films actually increases with RPM and is inversely proportional to the film thickness. It is possible to achieve electrical conductivities as high as 10,507 ± 3728.64 [S/m] while still maintaining the transparency of the thin films. The initial spin coating step is more efficient at low ramp rates around 100 rpm/s and results in very smooth films. High spin speeds of 1800 rpm during the casting stage are found to play a large role in improving the conductivity of the films. Lastly, drying the samples on a hot plate for 5 min. on high has significantly improved the films electrical properties and virtually eliminated the need for tedious and expensive plasma cleaning treatments.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2012

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References

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Conductivity of Graphene-Like Thin Films Prepared from Chemically Exfoliated Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs), Highly Oriented Pyrolytic Graphite (HOPG), Natural Flake Graphite, and Carbon Powder
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Conductivity of Graphene-Like Thin Films Prepared from Chemically Exfoliated Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs), Highly Oriented Pyrolytic Graphite (HOPG), Natural Flake Graphite, and Carbon Powder
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