Noble Metal Nanoparticles on Carbon Fibers: Synthesis, Properties, and Applications


Igor Yuranov Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

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Today, noble metal nanoparticles find many applications in different fields of human activity. To increase the stability of nanoparticles, a deposition over another material (support) is often performed. The surface chemistry of the support determines the size and structure of the formed metal particles. Among different types of materials used as supports, carbons attract great interest due to their specific characteristics: 1) chemical resistance to acids and bases; 2) opportunity to tailor both physical and chemical surface properties; and 3) easy recovery of precious metals by support burning. Being in the form of microfibers, carbonaceous materials offer a number of additional advantages. Carbon fibers (CFs) are flexible and exhibit the highest specific strength of all reinforcing fibers. They have good electrical and thermal conductivity, and low linear coefficient of thermal expansion and abrasion. The fibers are also favored, because of the ease in handling when they are used in felt or woven forms. Activated carbon fibers (ACFs), which are usually utilized as metal nanoparticle supports, assure better reactant transport properties as compared with granular or powdered activated carbons (AC). The unique physical and chemical properties of novel forms of fibrous carbon – carbon nanofibers (CNFs) and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) offer also impressive opportunities for supporting metal nanoparticles.

The scope of this entry is to review the current status of research of noble metal nanoparticles supported on carbon micro- and nanofibrous materials. Special attention is given to the role of the support surface chemistry and morphology in the formation and properties of metal nanoparticles. Application fields for these promising nanostructured materials are considered.