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C, Volume 6, Issue 1 (March 2020) – 16 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Interactions between a H2 Molecule and Carbon Nanostructures: A DFT Study
C 2020, 6(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6010016 - 24 Mar 2020
Viewed by 304
Abstract
On a long path of finding appropriate materials to store hydrogen, graphene and carbon nanotubes have drawn a lot of attention as potential storage materials. Their advantages lie at hand since those materials provide a large surface area (which can be used for [...] Read more.
On a long path of finding appropriate materials to store hydrogen, graphene and carbon nanotubes have drawn a lot of attention as potential storage materials. Their advantages lie at hand since those materials provide a large surface area (which can be used for physisorption), are cheap compared to metal hydrides, are abundant nearly everywhere, and most importantly, can increase safety to existing storage solutions. Therefore, a great variety of theoretical studies were employed to study those materials. After a benchmark study of different van-der-Waals corrections to Generalized Gradient Approximation (GGA), the present Density Functional Theory (DFT) study employs Tkatchenko–Scheffler (TS) correction to study the influence of vacancy and Stone–Wales defects in graphene on the physisorption of the hydrogen molecule. Furthermore, we investigate a large-angle (1,0) grain boundary as well as the adsorption behaviour of Penta-Octa-Penta (POP)-graphene. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Physi-Sorption of H2 on Pure and Boron–Doped Graphene Monolayers: A Dispersion–Corrected DFT Study
C 2020, 6(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6010015 - 22 Mar 2020
Viewed by 289
Abstract
High-surface-area carbons are of interest as potential candidates to store H2 for fuel–cell power applications. Earlier work has been ambiguous and inconclusive on the effect of boron doping on H2 binding energy. Here, we describe a systematic dispersion–corrected density functional theory [...] Read more.
High-surface-area carbons are of interest as potential candidates to store H2 for fuel–cell power applications. Earlier work has been ambiguous and inconclusive on the effect of boron doping on H2 binding energy. Here, we describe a systematic dispersion–corrected density functional theory study to evaluate the effect of boron doping. We observe some enhancement in H2 binding, due to the presence of a defect, such as terminal hydrogen or distortion from planarity, introduced by the inclusion of boron into a graphene ring, which creates hydrogen adsorption sites with slightly increased binding energy. The increase is from −5 kJ/mol H2 for the pure carbon matrix to −7 kJ/mol H2 for the boron–doped system with the boron content of ~7%. The H2 binding sites have little direct interaction with boron. However, the largest enhancement in physi-sorption energy is seen for systems, where H2 is confined between layers at a distance of about 7 Å, where the H2 binding nearly doubles to −11 kJ/mol H2. These findings suggest that interplanar nanoconfinement might be more effective in enhancing H2 binding. Smaller coronene model is shown to be beneficial for understanding the dependence of interaction energy on the structural configurations and preferential H2 binding sites. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Recent Advancements on the CVD of Graphene on Copper from Ethanol Vapor
C 2020, 6(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6010014 - 19 Mar 2020
Viewed by 491
Abstract
Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) on metal foils is regarded as the most effective method to produce large-area graphene with properties in line with the requirements of an extensive range of electronic and optical applications. For the CVD of graphene, ethanol is a versatile [...] Read more.
Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) on metal foils is regarded as the most effective method to produce large-area graphene with properties in line with the requirements of an extensive range of electronic and optical applications. For the CVD of graphene, ethanol is a versatile carbon source alternative to the widely used methane. In this review we report on the current progress in this field showing how the CVD parameters can be modulated to gain full microstructural control on graphene grown on Cu foils. Using ethanol vapor, graphene can be grown as a continuous film with mono- or multi-layer thickness, and also in the form of isolated crystals on pre-oxidized Cu substrates. Overall, ethanol-CVD allows a controllable degree of crystallinity and tunable electrical/optical characteristics in the grown samples. In turn, this control translates into a superior versatility for device design and related applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Removal of F from Water Using Templated Mesoporous Carbon Modified with Hydrated Zirconium Oxide
C 2020, 6(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6010013 - 09 Mar 2020
Viewed by 323
Abstract
Three types of MgO-templated mesoporous carbon possessing different specific surface area and pore size distribution were modified with hydrated zirconium oxide (ZrO2·xH2O) to prepare fluoride anion (F) adsorbents. ZrO2·xH2O was synthesized through the [...] Read more.
Three types of MgO-templated mesoporous carbon possessing different specific surface area and pore size distribution were modified with hydrated zirconium oxide (ZrO2·xH2O) to prepare fluoride anion (F) adsorbents. ZrO2·xH2O was synthesized through the auto-hydrolysis of zirconium oxychloride (ZrOCl2) in water under the coexistence of mesoporous carbon. X-ray diffractometry (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) indicated that the mesoporous carbon surfaces were coated with mainly amorphous ZrO2·xH2O. Capabilities of aqueous F removal of the prepared adsorbents and the unmodified mesoporous carbons were compared. The F uptake by the prepared adsorbents was larger than that observed using unmodified carbons, indicating that the F adsorption capacity was improved through the ZrO2·xH2O coating. Moreover, the adsorption capability was found to depend on the pore size of the mesoporous carbons. The F uptake decreased as pH of F solution increased. Protonation and deprotonation of ZrO2 were found to affect the F adsorption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Porous Carbon: Synthesis, Modification and Applications)
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Open AccessReview
Hemocompatibility of Carbon Nanostructures
C 2020, 6(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6010012 - 05 Mar 2020
Viewed by 326
Abstract
Carbon nanostructures (CNs), such as carbon nanotubes, fullerenes, carbon dots, nanodiamonds as well as graphene and its derivatives present a tremendous potential for various biomedical applications, ranging from sensing to drug delivery and gene therapy, biomedical imaging and tissue engineering. Since most of [...] Read more.
Carbon nanostructures (CNs), such as carbon nanotubes, fullerenes, carbon dots, nanodiamonds as well as graphene and its derivatives present a tremendous potential for various biomedical applications, ranging from sensing to drug delivery and gene therapy, biomedical imaging and tissue engineering. Since most of these applications encompass blood contact or intravenous injection, hemocompatibility is a critical aspect that must be carefully considered to take advantage of CN exceptional characteristics while allowing their safe use. This review discusses the hemocompatibility of different classes of CNs with the purpose of providing biomaterial scientists with a comprehensive vision of the interactions between CNs and blood components. The various complex mechanisms involved in blood compatibility, including coagulation, hemolysis, as well as the activation of complement, platelets, and leukocytes will be considered. Special attention will be paid to the role of CN size, structure, and surface properties in the formation of the protein corona and in the processes that drive blood response. The aim of this review is to emphasize the importance of hemocompatibility for CNs intended for biomedical applications and to provide some valuable insights for the development of new generation particles with improved performance and safety in the physiological environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Nanostructures for Biological Applications)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Pulling Simulations and Hydrogen Sorption Modelling on Carbon Nanotube Bundles
C 2020, 6(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6010011 - 04 Mar 2020
Viewed by 483
Abstract
Recent progress in molecular simulation technology has developed an interest in modernizing the usual computational methods and approaches. For instance, most of the theoretical work on hydrogen adsorption on carbon nanotubes was conducted a decade ago. It should be insightful to reinvestigate the [...] Read more.
Recent progress in molecular simulation technology has developed an interest in modernizing the usual computational methods and approaches. For instance, most of the theoretical work on hydrogen adsorption on carbon nanotubes was conducted a decade ago. It should be insightful to reinvestigate the field and take advantage of code improvements and features implemented in contemporary software. One example of such features is the pulling simulation modules now available in many molecular dynamics programs. We conduct pulling simulations on pairs of carbon nanotubes and measure the inter-tube distance before they dissociate in water. We use this distance to set the interval size between adjacent nanotubes as we arrange them in bundle configurations. We consider bundles with triangular, intermediate and honeycomb patterns, and armchair nanotubes with a chiral index from n = 5 to n = 10. Then, we simulate low pressure hydrogen adsorption isotherms at 77 K, using the grand canonical Monte Carlo method. The different bundle configurations adsorb great hydrogen amounts that may exceed 2% wt at ambient pressures. The computed hydrogen capacities are considered large for physisorption on carbon nanostructures and attributed to the ultra-microporous network and extraordinary high surface area of the configured models. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Novel Characterizations of Mechanical Properties for a Copper/Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Nanocomposite Synthesized by Laser Surface Implanting
C 2020, 6(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6010010 - 29 Feb 2020
Viewed by 345
Abstract
In our previous studies, we have developed a wet process, denoted laser surface implanting (LSI), to synthesize a copper/single-walled carbon nanotube (Cu–SWCNT) metal nanocomposite as an implant onto the surface of a pure copper substrate. The nanostructure of this Cu–SWCNT composite was confirmed [...] Read more.
In our previous studies, we have developed a wet process, denoted laser surface implanting (LSI), to synthesize a copper/single-walled carbon nanotube (Cu–SWCNT) metal nanocomposite as an implant onto the surface of a pure copper substrate. The nanostructure of this Cu–SWCNT composite was confirmed independently by several methods, including transmission electron microscope (TEM) images, which show discernable SWCNT clusters in nano sizes inside the copper matrix. The hardness was measured by micro-hardness tests to indicate over three times hardness over that of pure copper could be achieved. In this paper, we present several unique ways to further characterize the mechanical properties of the Cu-SWCNT nanocomposite. Nano-hardness tests are first performed to confirm that hardness improvement, about three times that of pure copper, is achieved, consistent with the micro-hardness test results. A new toughness measurement based on focus ion beam (FIB) bombardment was performed to demonstrate 2.5 times toughness improvement. Finally, a new compression test rig was designed to conduct plane strain compression test for an array of Cu-SWCNT implants. The results confirmed that the Cu-SWCNT nanocomposite exhibits a stress-strain behavior consistent with the results of the hardness and FIB tests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surface Modification of Carbons)
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Open AccessArticle
High-Pressure Phase Equilibrium Studies of Multicomponent (Alcohol-Water-Ionic Liquid-CO2) Systems
C 2020, 6(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6010009 - 25 Feb 2020
Viewed by 349
Abstract
Selective water (by-product) separation from reaction mixtures stands as an important process intensification strategy for equilibrium-limited reactions. In this work, the possibility of using a high-pressure biphasic reaction media composed of a hydrophobic ionic liquid, 1-hexy-3-methylimidazolium tetracyanoborate, and carbon dioxide was explored for [...] Read more.
Selective water (by-product) separation from reaction mixtures stands as an important process intensification strategy for equilibrium-limited reactions. In this work, the possibility of using a high-pressure biphasic reaction media composed of a hydrophobic ionic liquid, 1-hexy-3-methylimidazolium tetracyanoborate, and carbon dioxide was explored for levulinic acid production from 1,4-butanediol. Vapour-liquid equilibrium measurements were performed for the binary (diol+CO2), ternary (diol+CO2+IL), and quaternary systems (diol+CO2+IL+water), at 313.2 K and pressures up to 18 MPa. The static analytical method was used in a high-pressure phase equilibrium apparatus equipped with a visual sapphire cell. The capability of the quaternary system to perform physical water separation is discussed in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ionic liquids for CO2 Capture and Reduction)
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Open AccessEditorial
Advanced Coal, Biomass and Waste Conversion Technologies
C 2020, 6(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6010008 - 24 Feb 2020
Viewed by 296
Abstract
Coal, biomass and waste, which are abundant, are considered to the foremost raw material that can potentially replace the depleting economically-viable oil resources and promote the energy and environment sustainability [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Coal, Biomass and Waste Conversion Technologies)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Fluorescence and Physico-Chemical Properties of Hydrogenated Detonation Nanodiamonds
C 2020, 6(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6010007 - 07 Feb 2020
Viewed by 520
Abstract
Hydrogenated detonation nanodiamonds are of great interest for emerging applications in areas from biology and medicine to lubrication. Here, we compare the two main hydrogenation techniques—annealing in hydrogen and plasma-assisted hydrogenation—for the creation of detonation nanodiamonds with a hydrogen terminated surface from the [...] Read more.
Hydrogenated detonation nanodiamonds are of great interest for emerging applications in areas from biology and medicine to lubrication. Here, we compare the two main hydrogenation techniques—annealing in hydrogen and plasma-assisted hydrogenation—for the creation of detonation nanodiamonds with a hydrogen terminated surface from the same starting material. Synchrotron-based soft X-ray spectroscopy, infrared absorption spectroscopy, and electron energy loss spectroscopy were employed to quantify diamond and non-diamond carbon contents and determine the surface chemistries of all samples. Dynamic light scattering was used to study the particles’ colloidal properties in water. For the first time, steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy analysis at temperatures from room temperature down to 10 K was performed to investigate the particles’ fluorescence properties. Our results show that both hydrogenation techniques produce hydrogenated detonation nanodiamonds with overall similar physico-chemical and fluorescence properties. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Processing Parameters on the Thermal and Electrical Properties of Electroless Nickel-Phosphorus Plated Carbon Fiber Heating Elements
C 2020, 6(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6010006 - 22 Jan 2020
Viewed by 341
Abstract
Carbon fibers (CFs) were plated with nickel-phosphorus (Ni-P) using an electroless plating process. The effects of the process parameters such as heat treatment temperature, heat treatment time, and the pH of the plating bath on electroless Ni-P plating were investigated. The structure, elemental [...] Read more.
Carbon fibers (CFs) were plated with nickel-phosphorus (Ni-P) using an electroless plating process. The effects of the process parameters such as heat treatment temperature, heat treatment time, and the pH of the plating bath on electroless Ni-P plating were investigated. The structure, elemental composition, and thermal and electrical properties of Ni-P plated CFs (MCF) were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), a four-probe volume resistivity tester, and an infrared thermal imaging camera, respectively. The XRD indicated the presence of amorphous and crystalline phases of Ni and Ni-P. The MCF were able to perform at high temperatures because of their higher thermal conductivity. A heat treatment temperature of 300 °C, a heat treatment time of 4 h, and a pH of 8.5 were found to be optimum for obtaining MCF with desirable thermal and electrical properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surface Modification of Carbons)
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Open AccessArticle
One-Step Densification of Carbon/Carbon Composites Impregnated with Pyrolysis Fuel Oil-Derived Mesophase Binder Pitches
C 2020, 6(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6010005 - 22 Jan 2020
Viewed by 368
Abstract
Carbon/carbon (C/C) composites are conventionally manufactured by liquid-phase impregnation (LPI), in which the binder pitches and phenolic resins are impregnated into the composites, and by chemical vapor infiltration (CVI). However, CVI has certain limitations in that expensive gases, such as methane and propane, [...] Read more.
Carbon/carbon (C/C) composites are conventionally manufactured by liquid-phase impregnation (LPI), in which the binder pitches and phenolic resins are impregnated into the composites, and by chemical vapor infiltration (CVI). However, CVI has certain limitations in that expensive gases, such as methane and propane, are used and a long reaction time is required. Therefore, LPI is more widely used, as it employs economical pitches. In this study, the effects of one-step preparation on mechanical properties of C/C composites impregnated with mesophase binder pitches and phenolic resins have been investigated. The C/C composites containing four types of 20 wt.% mesophase binder pitches had differences in softening point (SP) and quinoline insoluble (QI) contents. After conducting trials on mesophase formation using different heat treatment temperatures and times, the best density and mechanical properties of the C/C composites were achieved using the mesophase binder pitches with 170 °C SP. However, when SP 200 °C was used, the density of the C/C composites was not further improved. This is because the binder pitches were not properly impregnated into the composites due to the high viscosity and QI of the binder pitches. Furthermore, the C/C composites fabricated with 20 wt.% pitch 2 exhibited the highest mechanical properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surface Modification of Carbons)
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of C in 2019
C 2020, 6(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6010004 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 285
Abstract
The editorial team greatly appreciates the reviewers who have dedicated their considerable time and expertise to the journal’s rigorous editorial process over the past 12 months, regardless of whether the papers are finally published or not [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Bonding States of Hydrogen in Plasma-Deposited Hydrocarbon Films
C 2020, 6(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6010003 - 09 Jan 2020
Viewed by 337
Abstract
We applied temperature-programmed desorption (TPD) spectroscopy to study the bonding of hydrogen in amorphous hydrogenated carbon (a–C:H) films. Typical hard plasma-deposited a–C:H films with an initial hydrogen content (H/(H+C)) of about 30% were used as samples. About 85% of the initial hydrogen content [...] Read more.
We applied temperature-programmed desorption (TPD) spectroscopy to study the bonding of hydrogen in amorphous hydrogenated carbon (a–C:H) films. Typical hard plasma-deposited a–C:H films with an initial hydrogen content (H/(H+C)) of about 30% were used as samples. About 85% of the initial hydrogen content is released in the form of H2, the rest in the form of hydrocarbons. Using a temperature ramp of 15 K/min, release of hydrogen starts at about 600 K with a first peak at about 875 K and a broad shoulder around 1050 K. The peak positions depend on the temperature ramp. This fact was exploited to determine the pre-exponential factor for an analytic analysis of the release spectra. This analysis revealed a pre-exponential factor of ν = 1 × 10 16 1/s, which deviates significantly from the frequently assumed prefactor 1 × 10 13 1/s. This higher prefactor leads to a shift in the determined binding energies by about +0.5 eV. Standard TPD measurements with linear temperature ramps up to 1275 K were complemented by so-called “ramp and hold” experiments with linear ramps up to certain intermediate temperatures and holding the samples for different times at these temperatures. Such experiments provide valuable additional data for investigation of the thermal behavior of the investigated films. Our experiments prove that the width of the hydrogen release spectrum is determined by a distribution of binding energies rather than release kinetics or diffusive effects. This binding energy distribution has a peak at about 3.1 eV and a shoulder at higher energies extending from about 3.6 to 3.9 eV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization of Disorder in Carbons)
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Open AccessArticle
Non-Curing Thermal Interface Materials with Graphene Fillers for Thermal Management of Concentrated Photovoltaic Solar Cells
C 2020, 6(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6010002 - 22 Dec 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 730
Abstract
Temperature rise in multi-junction solar cells reduces their efficiency and shortens their lifetime. We report the results of the feasibility study of passive thermal management of concentrated multi-junction solar cells with the non-curing graphene-enhanced thermal interface materials. Using an inexpensive, scalable technique, graphene [...] Read more.
Temperature rise in multi-junction solar cells reduces their efficiency and shortens their lifetime. We report the results of the feasibility study of passive thermal management of concentrated multi-junction solar cells with the non-curing graphene-enhanced thermal interface materials. Using an inexpensive, scalable technique, graphene and few-layer graphene fillers were incorporated in the non-curing mineral oil matrix, with the filler concentration of up to 40 wt% and applied as the thermal interface material between the solar cell and the heat sink. The performance parameters of the solar cells were tested using an industry-standard solar simulator with concentrated light illumination at 70× and 200× suns. It was found that the non-curing graphene-enhanced thermal interface material substantially reduces the temperature rise in the solar cell and improves its open-circuit voltage. The decrease in the maximum temperature rise enhances the solar cell performance compared to that with the commercial non-cured thermal interface material. The obtained results are important for the development of the thermal management technologies for the next generation of photovoltaic solar cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surface Modification of Carbons)
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis, Spectroscopic Characterization and Photoactivity of Zr(IV) Phthalocyanines Functionalized with Aminobenzoic Acids and Their GO-Based Composites
C 2020, 6(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6010001 - 22 Dec 2019
Viewed by 630
Abstract
Two complexes of bis(aminobenzoato)zirconium(IV) phthalocyanine and their graphite oxide-based composites were synthesized and characterized in respect of their photochemical properties. Structures of phthalocyanines were confirmed by Mass and infrared spectroscopies. The absorption and photoluminescence spectra were investigated to show various behavior of the [...] Read more.
Two complexes of bis(aminobenzoato)zirconium(IV) phthalocyanine and their graphite oxide-based composites were synthesized and characterized in respect of their photochemical properties. Structures of phthalocyanines were confirmed by Mass and infrared spectroscopies. The absorption and photoluminescence spectra were investigated to show various behavior of the complexes in different media (dimethyl sulfoxide and saline). Optical technique (monitoring variation of absorption spectra of diphenylisobenzofuran used as an indicator) was used to prove the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by under light irradiation in the range of the first biological window. The photoactivity of the materials was compared and discussed in terms of their potential ability to be used in biomedical applications, for example, as photosensitizers in photodynamic therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Nanostructures for Biological Applications)
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