The Catalytic Synthesis of Three-Dimensional Hierarchical Carbon Nanotube Composites with High Electrical Conductivity Based on Electrochemical Iron Deposition


  • We are grateful for the financial support by the MIWFT-NRW within the “Nachwuchsgruppe: Mikroelektrochemie zur Optimierung von Heterogenkatalysatoren für PEM-Brennstoffzellen” and the project “Lokale mikroelektrochemische Visualisierung von Katalysatoraktivitäten zur Optimierung von Direkt-Methanol-Brennstoffzellen (DMFC)” in cooperation with the Forschungszentrum Jülich (IWV3; Prof. Dr. D. Stolten). N. Li thanks the International Max Planck Research School of Surface and Interface Engineering in Advanced Materials (SurMat) for support.


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The catalytic synthesis of three-dimensional hierarchical carbon nanotube composites was based on the electrodeposition of iron and the subsequent iron-catalyzed growth of carbon nanotubes from cyclohexane. Electrochemical studies provided evidence for the strong interaction between the graphite foil, the long primary CNTs, and the short secondary CNTs, which are essential for the application of the hierarchical nanocomposite in fuel cell catalysis and in sensor systems.