Nano Bugle

A window into applied science supported by INL

Nano-membranes for extra-fine filters and scaffolds

Nanotube-infused microdevices, with forests of carbon nanotubes grown inside pores, can act as filters or as a carrier for improved catalysts. (Source: Rice U.)

Researchers from University of Oulu, Finland, University of Szeged, Hungary and Rice University, USA have found a way to make carbon nanotube membranes that could find wide application as extra-fine air filters and as scaffolds for catalysts that speed chemical reactions.

The devices were created by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of silicon dioxide templates, with laser-created holes; after 30min in the furnace the holes fill up with carbon nanotubes.

The resulting material can be doped with catalytic materials or used as filters, which would stop any particles larger than the diameter of the tubes from passing through. When the CNTs are functionalized with catalytic chemicals, particles entering on one side of the filter come out the end in a different form.

As a filter, the CNT-enabled membrane achieved 99% extraction of <1μm particles, removing about 100× more nanoparticles from laboratory air than the material used in high-efficiency particulate-absorbing (HEPA) filters. The filters permeability depends strongly on how long the nanotubes are allowed to grow, which determines their length and density.

The Results of the work were published in the journal ACS Nano and has as title: “Three-dimensional carbon nanotube scaffolds as particulate filters and catalyst support membranes”.

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May 20, 2010 - Posted by | Nano News

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