Worcester Polytechnic Institute Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection

Title page for ETD etd-080113-170718

Document Typedissertation
Author NameYao, Yuqin
TitleSynthesis, processing and applications of carbonaceous nanomaterials
DepartmentMaterials Science & Engineering
  • Jianyu Liang, Advisor
  • Richard D. Sisson, Department Head
  • Mingjiang Tao, Committee Member
  • Zhenhai Xia, Committee Member
  • Keywords
  • nanomaterials
  • carbon
  • applications
  • Synthesis
  • Date of Presentation/Defense2013-07-24
    Availability restricted


    Carbon is one of the most abundant non-metal elements in the world. The unique arrangement of electrons enables diverse properties and applications of carbon. Long before the discovery of C60 in 1985, which is now considered a milestone in the vibrant field of carbon nanotechnology, carbon has been a vital part of human history. It has been a key enabling material in many fields including aerospace, transportation, energy storage, electric devices, infrared sensors, etc. The report of fullerene triggered a feverish surge of interest and effort in the study of nanostructured carbon. Along with the discovery of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene nanosheets (GNS), the nanocarbon family has been extensively studied. However, controlled production of carbon nanomaterials with low cost and high efficiency and incorporation of nanocarbons to maximize their contribution in advanced applications still faces a lot of technical difficulties.

    The objective of this work is to study and optimize processes to synthesize multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and GNS, and to apply GNS in nanocomposite anode materials for Lithium ion batteries (LIBs). Therefore, in this thesis, there are three main parts: (1) development of the post-processing method to obtain free-standing CNT arrays by the template-assisted chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method; (2) development of a synthesis protocol to obtain GNS by oxidation of natural graphite flakes and reduction of the resulted graphene oxides; and (3) fabrication of TiO2/GNS in core-shell structure by a static electric assembling method to improve anode performance for LIB applications.

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